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Social Media on Human Interaction

Abraham Perez
The University of Texas of El Paso


Todays modern world in which we live in has come to be known as the
era of technology where there is an easy access to the Internet as well
as social media-use by the reach of our hand. The use of social media
is almost ubiquitous. This paper probes the definition of social media
and its use from different approaches to provide a better
understanding of the phenomenon. The investigation of the meaning
will identify the variety of places where social media can be found as
well as the different groups of users. As the research goes through the
different groups of users, there will be an analysis to the different
purposes of social media use within the groups that differ. There will
also be an exploration whether if social media has played a role in the
altering of human interaction. Information on some of the effects on
the human brain by social media use will be revised within the paper
as well as the benefits and disadvantages of the connection to social
media. This research will be useful to those who are found dependent
on the use social media grater that those whos interactions are not
affected by the connectivity of social webs.

The twenty-first century is known to be the era of technology
where circuits have evolved to computers with programs and it has
resulted to play a major role in todays living. Although the main
function of a computer was initially to control information, technology
has gone to a greater level with the creation of the Internet. The
Internet has made information widely available to all who are in access
of it. As the Internet was initially used for informational purposes, a
new purpose for its use was introduced known as social media.
Social Media Definition
Social media is defined as websites and other online means of
communication that are used by large groups of people to share
information and to develop social and professional contacts. Social
media has revolutionized from blogs into the modern websites.
Journalist Tom Smith (2009), found that the number of active users
reading blogs grew from 54% to 77% globally in just two years, while
the number who had written a blog grew from 28% to 45%, (p.560).
The results of the study were obtained from the year 2009, where
blogging was part of the two years before. Over time, the act of
blogging has increased while technology continues to contain social

As an outcome of an increase in internet use, the use of social

websites rapidly increased along with it. As Smith stated, this
movement is dominating the way we use the internet, and the leading
social platforms like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and now Twitter have
moved into the mainstream (p.560). Some of the most popular social
networks that appear more often in todays society are an effect of the
publics own likes in internet usage. As there are many people in the
world there are many different types of users of social media.
Users of Social Media
As social media is found in diverse places, the users of social
networks will also be diverse. To identify who are the users of social
media, researcher surveyed a multitude of people. In general, this
study found that individuals personality traits extraversion,
emotional stability and openness to experiences play a role in the
uses of interactive social media Given that neuroticism is related to
loneliness, a possible explanation is that anxious and nervous people
use these services to seek support and company. ()

The Purpose of Social Media

Neuroscientist Dr. Joe Despenza describes the effects of the use of
social media on our brains. While using social media people are
constantly changing their attention from photographs, comments, and
typing here and there and as anything else, the more frequent we

perform these actions, it becomes a habit. The habit that people

develop by the usage of social media is one that focuses our attention
on something for no more than fifteen seconds and then later feels the
urge to not waste any time and focus on other more important
things. The moment that one does not pay attention is the moment
they stop learning.
Impact on Human Interaction
Consistent with Kraut et al. (1998), who found links






depression, Internet users who were less satisfied

with their lives and who used the Internet for
interpersonal utility reasons had greater affinity
with the Internet. It seems reasonable that those
who use the Internet for social contact, and are less
satisfied with the quality of the social interaction in
their own lives, would think of the Internet as being
more important to them. This affinity may be due to
the nature of the medium, which limits nonverbal
cues, bypasses physical appearance, and allows the
user to create a new identity, if so desired (192-3)
Those who felt valued in their interpersonal
environment considered the Internet to be primarily
an informational tool, whereas those who felt less

valued in their face-to-face interaction turned to the

Internet as an alternative, interactional tool. (1912). For example, using longitudinal data across 73
households, Kraut et al. (1998) found that greater
Internet use related to reduced communication in
the household, smaller social circles, and greater
senses of depression and loneliness. (176).

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