Essay On Social Media

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Social networking has increasingly had a huge impact on society. Technology has opened the door to a vast amount of information and to the ability to relay that information to practically anybody at anytime and anywhere. People are constantly checking their email, updating their status on Facebook, sending tweets on Twitter, instant messaging, and texting. The debate of whether social networking actually connects us or keeps us apart is a continuous one. In the case of Steven Pinker, his essay “Mind over Mass Media” argues that media technologies have a positive effect on mental development. In contrast, Sherry Turkle’s essay “Connectivity and Its Discontents” asserts that technology has a negative effect on interpersonal relationships. Although Pinker makes many excellent points on how technology is improving intelligence and Turkle provides exceptional ideas of how technology is damaging to relationships, neither Pinker nor Turkle provides the best answer to this question due to their lack of credibility and inclusion of logical fallacies. Instead, we should use the Internet to its full potential, while being aware of the risks and dangers that come with social networking. In his essay “Mind over Mass Media,” Steven Pinker proposes that media technologies are beneficial to mental development. According to Pinker, the rise of new forms of social media has been linked to the reduction in crime and to the increase in I.Q. scores. He supports this claim by stating that the emergence of “video games in the 1990s coincided with the great American crime decline” (3) and that “the decades of television, transistor radios and rock videos were…decades in which I.Q. scores rose continuously” (3). He also mentions that new technologies ha... ... middle of paper ... ...: Exploring Issues and Ideas. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2014. Print. Sherry Turkle is a professor at MIT, the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, and a radio and television media commentator. She argues that social networking negatively affects our interpersonal relationships. She mentions that youth are increasingly sending text messages or Facebook comments to one another rather than talking face-to-face or talking over the phone. Turkle describes how we may be “connected” online, but are really growing further apart because of the barriers in communication that social media creates. She includes a few personal stories to support her argument of the detrimental effects technology can have on relationships. This essay helped me to present the “con” side of the social network debate.

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