Is Social Media Creating a More Isolated World? Group 8: Evan Akey, Cole Fernetich, Dean Spyropoulos

Problem:

The use of social media over the last 5 years has more than doubled. With so many friends, acquaintances and complete strangers at our fingertips, we appear to never be alone, even when physically no one is there. However, social media and technology have vastly changed how we interact with those individuals physically in our lives. Individuals become so enveloped in their devices and online personas that it creates a culture of loneliness and isolation. Our goal is to analyze research and studies and come up with solutions for this growing problem and how we can better self manage the impact social media has on those feelings of isolation.

Are social media sites the cause of isolation or do we simply resort to them when we are feeling lonely? How can we be isolated from the world but not truly feel alone?

How we can address this issue AND POSSIBLE QUESTIONS:

  • Look into articles, discussions and presentations, literature based on the isolating world of social media
  • Research statistics on whether people feel more lonely this day in age as opposed to the past and if social media use is related to that.
  • Suggests methods on how to self-manage those negative feelings that sometimes come from technology use.
  • Suggest positive ways to use social media and suggest healthy methods of use of it for those times when an individual is feeling alone.
  • Why do individuals feel isolated if they are constantly connected?
  • What are the actual causes of social isolation even within groups?
  • Are we simply create our own personal bubbles that keep people close but far enough away to protect ourselves

Research:

Proposal:

At first glance one might think, "how can we possibly feel isolated when we are always connected?" While studies have found that most individuals actually do feel less lonely, they still somehow feel isolated, like they are in their own world. People naturally gravitate towards their phone when they are in uncomfortable situations, around new people, or simply have run out of things to talk about even with the ones closest to them. Is their a way to combat these feelings of isolation? Are we going to be able to help others feel less alone, by educating them on the healthy use of social media? Is this technological culture we living in, progressive or regressive when it comes to human's as social creatures?

Additional research:

Link to our media piece below

Potential Solutions and next steps

While technology has been around for a while it has rapidly developed over the last 5-10 years. By educating individuals on the healthy use of technology and media, it will create a culture of more self aware individuals who can identify when it is becoming a problem. The connection that technology and social media can maintain is astounding, however it does leave people feeling lost and yearning for more. Implementing programs in schools from elementary to post secondary, on the dangers and risks that come with excessive use can help individuals recognize when it's effecting their well being. By creating well informed people, we create a group of people who are uplifted by the tools around them and not brought down.

More Potential solutions

For the younger generations:

Social media can hinder learning but also enhance education. This has a significant impact on k-12 learners because in the new age of cell phones and advancements in technology students are surely involved in social media. The following is guideline for teachers to follow in order to successfully transition into the age of overwhelming social media use, and without the student’s learning being suppressed. In fact social media can be a positive if handled correctly.

TIPS FOR TEACHERS:

  • Make social media purposeful and ensure students are clear about the "why."
  • Match the type of social media with the learning outcomes for students.
  • Help students learn about social media over-stimulation and how to stay focused.
  • Support student safety and decision-making by including discussions on digital footprints, cyber-bullying, and plagiarism.

We believe that the best place to impose a solution would be in classroom, online or not. We then suggest to create school programs that can offer student choices. For example , choice for formative assessment tools, progress tracking and comprehensive testing. Applying the fundamentals of social media understanding and its effects on our society can help solve the problems that we are currently experiencing. Software programming will need to achieved and funded in order to make the most desirable finished product that is attractive to students.

We believe that the best place to impose a solution would be in classroom, online or not. We then suggest to create school programs that can offer student choices. For example , choice for formative assessment tools, progress tracking and comprehensive testing. Applying the fundamentals of social media understanding and its effects on our society can help solve the problems that we are currently experiencing. Software programming will need to achieved and funded in order to make the most desirable finished product that is attractive to students.

Policy change needs to be implemented and kept. In an article written by Hannah E. Karpman and James Drisko they indicated the current policies in table 1 below and these could be used as a template for others who are looking for a place to start.

References

Agrawal, A. (2016, October 07). Are Social Networks Causing Loneliness Among Teens? Retrieved March 10, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aj-agrawal/are-social-networks-causi_b_12396080.html

Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Her, E. J., & Rainie, L. (2009, November 03). Social Isolation and New Technology. Retrieved March 10, 2017, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2009/11/04/social-isolation-and-new-technology/

Jones, G. (2015, May 03). Does Social Media Create Social Isolation or Unity? Retrieved March 10, 2017, from http://www.grahamjones.co.uk/2012/articles/social-media-articles/does-social-media-create-social-isolation-or-unity.html

Alone Together. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2017, from https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr&id=J2ine5sIIkgC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=does technology make us more lonely&ots=qwZT6VMPSe&sig=Ld5K3D7ynul9jQZXIa4VFIZenQA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Franzen, A. (2000, December 01). Does the Internet make us lonely? Retrieved March 10, 2017, from https://academic.oup.com/esr/article-abstract/16/4/427/515359/Does-the-Internet-make-us-lonely

Song, H., Zmyslinski-Seelig, A., Kim, J., Drent, A., Victor, A., Omori, K., & Allen, M. (2014). Does Facebook make you lonely?: A meta analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 446-452. Retrieved March 10, 2017, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262016109_Does_Facebook_make_you_lonely_A_meta_analysis

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