College Papers

Social media: making people dumber?Decrease in frequency of analytical thinkingJournal of the Royal Society Interface: Social media may decrease the frequency of analytical reasoning by making it easy and commonplace for people to reach analytical response without engaging analytical processing.Social networks supply answers and insights without requiring any actual thinking, so that your analytic powers begin to waste away like an unused muscle. Decreased attention spansFacebook and Twitter: mass immersion into short bites of information associated with chaotic and inattentive thinking Echo chambersAt the mercy of cookies that follow our every click and algorithms designed to serve us more of what we already like, we are destined to believe even more of what we already think we know.This is the equivalent of surrounding ourselves in a cloistered bubble of homogeneity, conformity and group think, which spells boredom. It becomes difficult to expand our understanding, awareness and aptitudes if we are only being served up more of what we already believe and agree with. Constantly plugged inFor one, we’re afraid of being left out. Without our continuous availability of responsive liking, commenting or sharing we may no longer belong to the group or have a presence. We have a human need to belong and in the absence of real community, we turn to the online community. On the contrary,Researcher Ivan Smirnov, from the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, found that the overall language complexity of posts on the social networking site is constantly increasing.Mr Smirnov studied the posts of 942,336 users on a Russian social media site called VK over the course of nine years.Social media could be improving language skills by giving people a space to spell out their thoughts and ideas. They probably started just by posting some brief status updates but today share sophisticated stories and opinions.Overuse of social mediaThe Royal Society of Public Health has recommended that Facebook and Twitter display pop-up warning signs if users are on them for too longThe organisation is becoming increasingly concerned that social media is fuelling soaring rates of anxiety, depression and sleeplessness in teenagers and young adults.They want social media websites to install alerts which automatically appear on the screen after a set number of hours.These messages would include information about coping with addiction and about the potential dangers of overuse.