Sherry Turkle is one of the greatest minds we have on sociology concerning the effects of Social Media on the next generation. I find it increasingly interesting that as more and more businesses are turning to social media as their prime form of marketing, we are loosing something here.
To be frank: No one is advocating that we turn back to the stone ages and begin grunting at one another to communicate, but as Ms. Turkle said on Dateline last evening, "We've replaced Conversation with Connection."
I work with Teenagers all over the world, and I can attest to the fact we have lost the art of conversation. Students don't know how to disagree and keep working together. Students don't know how to post debates without compromising our feeling of worth outside the debate.
In fact, a recent article posted on the UK's daily, an online newspaper popular in Europe, says a new study shows college students think they're more special than ever!! The article details the test scores at various Universities in comparison with how University students feel about themselves, and we've got a MAJOR problem.
With the posting, liking, friending, and online self help worth; we're now seeing students who actually think they are something more special than they really are!
Ok, I get it, I can hear the deterring argument already, "But Andy, we're more connected than we ever have been." And believe me, I think that's a remarkable accomplishment. But has anyone ever asked the question, "Where is this leading our culture?"
Sherry Turkle is asking the hard questions, and her TED talk posted above will give you a real insight on how we're using technology to replace the deeper forms of communication.
I wrote a book, ALONE, concerning the spiritual aspect of this phenomenon. My thesis, "God made us to be together, share life together, celebrate together, and mourn together. So what is social media doing to help, or to hurt the very connections that make us human?" My book is primarily focused on helping students find that connection in conjunction with their online life.
As in every culture, there are major themes that begin playing out that shape 20,30, even 50 years of how we are going to live life going forward. I would just ask that we take notice of the impact Social Media is having on our students in a way to project what our world will look like in the future.
After I watched Pixar's much acclaimed WALL-E, I saw this future play out before my eyes. Relationships were regulated to our own time management, and the world turned upside down.
ALONE is on the cutting edge. Check it out. I'm sure it will raise many questions, provide many answers, and keep thinking on the forefront.
And if you don't want to buy the book, just watch the trailer. It's just on the right side of the blog right here, and it only takes 1:50 seconds of your time.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!!