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Alexandra G.

Mendoza September 21, 2018


1H – MT Purposive Communication – Critique Paper

Inferno, Social Media


A critique paper on ‘How social media makes us unsocial’ by Allison Graham

Language is the method of human communication as communication is the means of connection

between individuals or groups (Sirbu, 2015). Both are important aspects of human interaction, and

throughout the years it has been evolving, thus giving the greatest and most influential product of growing

communication: Social Media. It can be analogized to a fire – vital to human life, a symbol of evolution,

and represents power. But fire completely changes whatever it touches, just as how social media has

completely changed the convention of interaction, and not in a positive way. Social media has limited

social interaction due to the physical and virtual barriers of technology.

Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, “love and belongingness” is the third level psychological

requirement for proper human growth (McLeod, 2018). Today’s generation effectively uses technology as

a means of keeping relationships intimate virtually. As of 2018, there are about 3.196 billion social media

users, having a 13% increase every year (Chaffey, 2018). There are many beneficial effects of social media,

but its drawbacks are just as many and destructive. Anxiety, criminality, identity theft, and addiction are

just some of the common consequences of media (Amedie, 2015). One of the distinct examples of Graham

in her TedX talk that elaborates on the adverse effects of social media is the (1) use of devices even during

social gatherings; despite the individuals being physically there, they are more present in the virtual

network . People tend to have their conversation online rather than face-to-face. (2) She also mentioned

how ‘texting while driving’ became the number one cause of teenager accidents. (3) Social media has

greatly affected language through abbreviated vocabulary such as “omg”, “lol”, and “wtf”. This is an

evolution in communication but if continued, deteriorates the nuances of vocabulary. (4) Individuals have

been greatly dependent on their devices; in 2018, around 5.135 billion people are mobile users (Chaffey,

2018). (5) Social media has psychologically affected us. Anxiety and depression levels have gone higher
through cyberbullying, jealousy, and loneliness. (6) Behavior has also gone dependent on social followers.

Individuals make an ideal reputation online and are easily distressed when they compare their own with

other profiles. Basically, the points stated previously by the speaker goes into one conclusion – the lives

of this generation revolves around social media. It has negatively impacted behavior and it limits actual

social interaction rather than promote it.

“The more we talk about how technology divides us, the more we demand from it”. This is a

statement of Allison Graham that distinctly and unspokenly defines the relationship of individuals and

social media. We are knowledgeable of its consequences, yet we unconsciously allow it to control us. The

social network is a complex reality that inhibits positive and adverse effects. Technology is development

and social media is the norm, but we must not forget that real life relationships and physical interaction

is a basic need of a human.

References

Amedie, J. (2015). The Impact of Social Media on Society. Retrieved from

https://scholarcommons.scu.edu/engl_176/2/

Anca, S. (2015). The significance of language as a tool of communication. Retrieved from

https://www.anmb.ro/buletinstiintific/buletine/2015_Issue2/FCS/405-406.pdf

Chaffey, D. (2018). Digital transformation: Global social media research summary. Retrieved

from https://www.smartinsights.com/internet-advertising/ad-networks/social-media-ad-

spending-trends-infographic/

McLeod, S. (2018). SimplyPsychology: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Retrieved from

https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

TedX Talks. (2014, November 10). How social media makes us unsocial | Allison Graham | TEDxSMU.

Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5GecYjy9-Q