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English B50. How is Social Media Affecting our Relationship with the World Around Us?. Your Experiences. Think about the different types of social media you interact with on a daily basis. Take a few minutes to jot down all of the social media sites you participate on.

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English B50

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English b50

English B50

How is Social Media Affecting our Relationship with the World Around Us?


Your experiences

Your Experiences

  • Think about the different types of social media you interact with on a daily basis. Take a few minutes to jot down all of the social media sites you participate on.

    • What are some of the social media outlets you use?

  • Now think about the amount of time you spend on social media as a whole. How much time do you devote to it each day?

  • Finally, think about when and how you use social media.

    • When are you most likely to log on?

    • What do you use it for? What are you likely to post and/or read about?


The myths of multitasking

The Myths of Multitasking

  • If you regularly partake in multiple activities at a time, you are not alone.

  • The trend of multitasking has been popular for some time now. In an effort to be more productive, we attempt to take on more than one task at a time.

  • In reality, when our attention is divided, we typically perform worse on all activities than if we gave each our undivided attention.

  • Similarly, we tend to become LESS rather than more efficient—the distractions make each activity take longer than it would if we were focused on one at a time.


Attention span

Attention Span

  • How many of you have difficulty focusing on anything lengthy—a long movie or book—without finding yourself drawn to the distraction of social media?

  • Some researchers argue that our attention spans have been decreasing over time due to the overwhelming amount of sensory input we are exposed to daily.

  • Single tasks are no longer able to hold our attention, and we often feel anxious without multiple distractions.

  • Some even argue that we are addicted to social media—despite it’s negative consequences, we continue to seek it out.


Not so social media

Not so “Social” Media

  • Ironically, social media is supposed to provide an avenue for people to interact with each other.

  • What are some of the ways you use social media to interact with others?

  • In what ways do you imagine social media might actually cause strain in people’s relationships?

    • Inattention due to multitasking makes family and friends who are physically present feel slighted.

    • Feeling stretched too thin can cause you to interact seldom with any one person, neglecting true friendships.

    • Is our social media presence a true reflection of ourselves? Or are we connecting via an idealized persona?

    • The anonymity of the internet makes us cruel, more so than we would be in face to face interactions.

    • Our social media interactions are shallow and driven by our need to be in control—of our time, of how others see us, etc.

    • We cannot read non-verbal cues such as body language and thus increase the likelihood of misunderstandings.


Points to consider

Points to Consider

  • When reading the articles in this unit, consider the ways in which social media may potentially cause harm—to our self esteem, to our relationships with others, to our intellect.

  • Consider ways in which these problems can be combated. Is abstention from social media the only way to improve the situation? What other solutions can you come up with?


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