I wonder if social media has made us lazy. And not just social media, but the convenience of technology. I am 90% sure it has. The other 10% is reserved for the fact that we now multitask in the virtual world while we interact with the real world, so I guess that makes us seem like we are doing more with our time which by definition would be less lazy. HOWEVER, we can now do literally anything from our computers and phones. We can buy groceries and have them delivered, we can shop for clothes, we can pay bills and taxes, and we can contact basically anyone in any part of the world. With Skype, twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many other social media sites, socializing in a virtual space has become just as important as in the real world. It would be possible to never leave and survive, although sanity might be questionable. You could get food, you could socialize and stay in touch with people, and you could buy those trendy clothes from the magazines you prescribed to online (although whats the point if no one ever sees you).
My point is, now that social media has made it so convenient and easy to reach out to people, stay in touch with people, and socialize, our efforts to connect with others have dwindled. We do not even have to call people anymore. Our brains have become rewired.
I decided to look into how our brains have been effected by this technology and the results were surprisingly comforting. After years of having adults (more specifically my parents ) say that too much computer/phone time is bad for you, this article on Psychology Today takes a more positive spin. Tracy Packiam Alloway in her article “Is Technology Making us Lazy” actually believes that technology is making our brains more efficient. She references a study from Columbia that found we are less likely to remember what we read but we can remember where we read it. So basically we no longer need to remember the information we find because we can always access it in the future if we remember where we found that information. What does this have to do with social media? Well in her own studies, Tracy found that active social media networkers and technology users were better at multitasking. They could adapt based on what information was being given to them better than passive technology users.
So maybe saying social media has made us lazy is too harsh. If anything, it seems our brains are working over time and being over stimulated by the massive amounts of information we can now acquire on social media. Although our brains have adapted and become more efficient, our physical beings have become more sedentary with more screen time and availability of everything at the touch of a key or the stroke of a mouse pad. So do not worry parents, your children’s brains are perfectly fine! I do not know if the same can be said for their physical health…