Where the help or hurt arguments privilege the social media by viewing it as radically altering the way people interact offline, the supplement argument offers this new interactive platform as the additional rhythms of every life. Some evidence suggests that ‘the observed decline has not led to social isolation but to community becoming embedded in social networks rather than groups and a movement of community relationships from easily observed public spaces to less accessible private home.’ The Internet is a vital means of communication for interacting with friends and relatives but not dominant. It presents social media as the best supplement to social capital.
A survey conducted by Wellman and Quan-Haase, for instance, shows that face-to-face and voice call communication do not decline while the proportion of e-mails sent and received rises. Those who have low level of interpersonal and phone contact tend to use less e-mail. In contrast, people who phone and meet frequently use e-mail frequently. In short, the stronger the relationship, the more media are used, and the more types of information are exchanged. Thus, online activities are not the contender for offline interactions and it is a tool for building and retaining social capital.
One of the things we have which our grandparents did not have is the way to gain power through their voices. In the whole history of the world, it might be hard or impossible to get a message to be heard, especially to political leaders; however, social media are making the current generation completely different. Everyone can do more than just tell their friends about what they had for breakfast. By taking example of two brothers who produced and uploaded their video every week via YouTube, it is really amazing to tell what is awesome in the world. It eventually brought a huge number of civic engagements.
What they have done tells us that we are not only the wave of the ocean but part of the ocean.
If you believe that social media is the window for increasing civic participation, please share your own experiences or social media websites.
Released on 22 August 2013 and attract more than 26 million viewers so far. This two minutes movie written by Charlene deGuzman and Miles Crawford reminds me that “it used to be my situation” and “I missed something.”
What about you? How do you feel? Does it exactly pull you apart? Please share your opinions.
Last night I enjoyed watching football as my favourite team comfortably won over their rivals. Noticeably, what I admired the most was the fact that they played for 90 minutes without checking their phones. This example attempts to draw the attention that besides specific obligation, recently, fewer and fewer places where people cannot access to social network sites, especially through their smartphones. Everyone seems consider well worth the effort to log onto it wherever they can. The data from 2013 Yellow Social Media Report shows that 76 per cent of Australian logs on from smartphone overtaking computers, and 6 per cent log on even in the toilet. However, real interaction is being lost through this new type of communication. The interaction with other people has become effortless and has isolated their lives behind their online identities. ‘Face to face communication and meetings has been reduced and many of us have lost the flavour and charm to be together under one roof.’
Huong’s comment on my previous post was excellent food for thought, she stated that ‘social media can be immerse, drawing people from face-to-face and phone contact. If the internet allows for easy access to online communities that span the globe, what consequences does this have for family ties and local interactions? The high level of global connectivity may have a downside, especially for local interactions and family ties. So that when people are spending more time online, public spaces become less relevant for interaction and socializing.’ She believes that social media hurts social capital.
By way of illustration from the image below, we can see that the daily face-to-face interaction pattern between kids and parents is taken over by social media applications.
This is supported by Kraut et al. (1998 cited in Shah, Kwak & Holbert 2001, p. 141), the Carnegie Mellon University, by contending that ‘going on-line erodes psychological well-being, weakens real-world ties, and reduces community involvement.’ This means that a so-called impoverished medium, social media, cuts people off from genuine social relationship. We are unable to have the quality of emotional expression by just sharing photos or texts rather than face-to-face interaction.
Do you still believe that social media enhances your family ties?