Video exploring critical thinking and how it leads to great citizen involvement
Last updated on: 5/18/2016 9:38:50 AM PST

Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society?


PRO (yes) CON (no)
AJ Agrawal, CEO and Cofounder of Alumnify, an alumni engagement organization, wrote in a Mar. 18, 2016 article for Forbes titled "It's Not All Bad: The Social Good of Social Media":
"Social media is not always an online distraction or procrastination platform. While some may be addicted to their social media networks, it is one of the best ways to stay informed. Major news outlets, corporations and persons of interest use social media to deliver messages to the masses. With items posting immediately, the public stays informed. Some issues cause controversy, but social media does more good than harm in retrospect...

Although some parents see social media as detrimental to their children, it actually does them some good to have social media accounts. Teens want to be aware and informed just as much as adults. Using social media allows teens to follow organizations and causes that they believe in. It makes them feel like they are a part of something, even when they feel like an outcast in society.

Increased teen awareness is important. Social media is one of the best outlets to reach the minds of young people to make a real difference...

When natural disaster strikes and causes devastating destruction, social media is the ideal vehicle to deliver messages asking for support. Hashtags are created to help Internet users locate related stories and show their support for those affected by the disaster. This helps stories that begin locally to gain national or global attention."

Mar. 18, 2016 - AJ Agrawal 

Logan Sachon, Cofounder of the Billfold, wrote in a Mar. 8, 2016 opinion piece for the New York Magazine titled "In Defense of Social Media: Talking to a Teenage Girl About Nancy Jo Sales's American Girl":
"Alicé is 17 and met her best friend on Twitter... 'I was lonely before Twitter,' she says. 'Without Twitter, I would still be depressed. No one has ever tried to be my friend...' She connected with a girl online who was going through the same things, and that really helped. She made more of an effort to connect with people at school.

Alicé has had in-person meetings with nearly 20 of her Twitter friends... 'I would have never met the people I'm friends with without the internet,' she says... 'I've had the deepest conversations with people I've met on the internet... I've never had such support from people; I treasure them. I was dumbfounded at how much they actually cared.'

True and lasting connection can and does come from social media — it is born there and it is nourished there. That second world [social media] isn't a ghetto - it's not even a second world. It's an expansion of this one."

Mar. 8, 2016 - Logan Sachon 

Michael Peckerar, Content Associate at RantLifestyle and RantChic, in an Oct. 25, 2015 article for rantgizmo.com titled "15 Times Social Media Saved Lives," wrote:
"While the naysayers call it a 'distraction', the truth is that social media steps in to save the day on a regular basis...

Chris Strouth... was informed he needed a kidney transplant. During the process of hemodialysis, he tweeted his frustration. A simple tweet that read 'Sh*t, I need a kidney.' prompted multiple strangers who followed him on Twitter to go get checked out. One match was found, Scott Pakudaitis. The two had never met in person until the day of the surgery, but Pakudaitis happily donated his kidney to someone who simply asked for it...

In 2012, a Johannesburg, South Africa man was carjacked at gunpoint and locked in the trunk of his car. Because criminals are often stupid, they didn't realize he still had his phone. He began texting his girlfriend who then tweeted the information about where he was. Through RT's and replies, Twitter and Facebook users tracked the car for police all the way to Kroonstad. Police monitored Twitter and took help from locals until the car was spotted in Ventersburg, and the police were able to intercept -- saving the man's life...

[A] teenager in Britain sent a Facebook message to his friend in the US. The message had mentioned he was thinking of harming himself. The friend immediately called the police, who then called the British Embassy. Through them, they were able to use the boy's name to find his address, and notify Oxfordshire police. They showed up in the nick of time, since he'd overdosed... but was conscious. He recovered completely. Facebook now has a feature where friends can report a friend they're concerned might harm themselves.

Chase Tyree was checking out Reddit, and saw someone who'd posted a photo of his cancerous testicle that'd been removed... [H]e read the rest of the post and saw the symptoms that led up to the surgery. Tyree... realized he was having the same symptoms. He went to the doctor, got looked at, and found out he had testicular cancer as well. After surgery, he made a complete recovery and declared 'Reddit saved my life!'"

Oct. 25, 2015 - Michael Peckerar 

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wrote in their Feb. 2015 Committee Opinion titled "Professional Use of Digital and Social Media," available from acog.org:

"Social media sites are fast becoming standard tools for professional practices... The ability of social media sites to spread information beyond the capacity of traditional digital media makes them attractive tools for organizations and individual professionals...

Use of professional social networks affords researchers and professionals the opportunity to share their work across larger audiences of like-minded professionals, fosters the development of new collaboration, and offers a forum for online dialogue among remote colleagues...

Digital and social media are not only acceptable for the modern practicing physician, but have become necessary elements for relating to patients and practicing medicine."

Feb. 2015 - American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) 

Hilary Walters-West, Editor-in-Chief of the Odyssey, wrote in a Dec. 14, 2015 article for the Odyssey titled "Why the Benefits of Social Media Outweigh the Drawbacks":
"I believe social media has truly made our world a better place and I think overall the world has greatly benefitted from its existence for many different reasons.

In a time where traveling for work has become the norm and so many people are required to be in a different place multiple times each month, social media allows individuals the chance to stay close with their family and friends. It allows them to share what’s going on in their life in the most convenient way... Social media accounts enable people from all over the world to foster and maintain relationships without letting distance become a barrier.

Social media has also created an exciting outlet for people to see news and stay updated on current events in the world...

[S]ocial media has given our society a better way of life and it has aided people in their daily lives. Social media is not the enemy; it is our ally and it has provides us with resources that we never knew before."

Dec. 14, 2015 - Hilary Walters-West 

Victoria Betton, PhD, mHabitat Programme Director at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Rohan Borschmann, PhD, McKenzie Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne (Australia), Mary Docherty, Member of the Royal College of Physicians and Psychiatrists (MRCP, MRCPsych), Academic Clinical Fellow at King's College London (UK) at the time of the quote, Stephen Coleman, PhD, Professor of Political Communication at the University of Leeds (UK), Mark Brown, Development Director at Social Spider CIC, and Claire Henderson, PhD, Clinical Senior Lecturer at King's College London (UK), wrote in a June 2015 editorial "The Role of Social Media in Reducing Stigma and Discrimination" for the British Journal of Psychiatry:
"[S]ocial media are inexpensive and easy to use. They signify a trend towards more interaction whereby people create as well as consume content. It is possible to share stories, produce other content and influence the media environment...

A striking aspect of social media sites such as Twitter is that a spontaneous burst of protest can be initiated by one individual in a single post and widely shared... [S]haring experiences and having one's voice heard on social channels can create a sense of empowerment - of feeling less alone with a personal struggle, and more confidence in showing a part of the self that might usually remain hidden."

June 2015 - Victoria Betton, PhD 
Rohan Borschmann, PhD 
Mark Brown 
Stephen Coleman, PhD 
Mary Docherty, MRCP, MRCPsych 
Claire Henderson, PhD 

Tomer Simon, MPH, founder of Ready.org.il, Avishay Goldberg, PhD, Deputy Rector at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Limor Aharonson-Daniel, PhD, Head of the PREPARED Center for Emergency Response Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Dmitry Leykin, MA, Statistics and Research Methods Consultant at Tel Hai Academic College, and Bruria Adini, PhD, Head of the Emergency Response Training Program at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, wrote in the Aug. 25, 2014 article "Twitter in the Cross Fire – The Use of Social Media in the Westgate Mall Terror Attack in Kenya" in PLoS ONE:
"Social media offer an accessible, widely available means for a bi-directional flow of information between the public and the authorities. In the crisis, all emergency responders used and leveraged social media networks for communicating both with the public and among themselves...

In recent years, the social media, and especially Twitter, have emerged as important, near real-time communication channels and technologies during emergency response. Social media consist of tools that enable open and online exchange of information through conversation, interaction and exchange of user generated content...

The different social media channels have become an integral tool in the response of official authorities and the general public to emergency situations."

Aug. 25, 2014 - Bruria Adini, PhD 
Limor Aharonson-Daniel, PhD 
Avishay Goldberg, PhD 
Dmitry Leykin, MA 
Tomer Simon, MPH 

The Pew Research Center, in a June 16, 2011 press release titled "Social Networking Sites and Our Lives," available from pewinternet.org, wrote:
"There has been a great deal of speculation about the impact of social networking site use on people’s social lives, and much of it has centered on the possibility that these sites are hurting users’ relationships and pushing them away from participating in the world... We’ve found the exact opposite – that people who use sites like Facebook actually have more close relationships and are more likely to be involved in civic and political activities.

Social networking sites have become increasingly important to people as they find ways to integrate check-ins and updates into the rhythms of their lives... People use them now to stay in touch with their best friends and distant acquaintances alike."

June 16, 2011 - Pew Research Center 

Halil Ibrahim Gurcan, PhD, Professor at the Faculty of Communication Sciences at Anadolu University (Turkey), wrote in the Dec. 2015 paper "Contribution of Social Media to the Students' Academic Development" in the International Journal of Information and Education Technology:
"Social network sites help fulfill communication needs and wants. It is a convenient method of communication and provides the ability to stay connected with friends and family, but on the users own rate and time. Users can manage their interactions within their own schedule by choosing when they want to read and respond... [I]t is efficient because it is a one-to-many method of communication which allows users to quickly spread information...

Social media provides students a new mechanism for a familiar exercise: that of personal expression."

Dec. 2015 - Halil Ibrahim Gurcan, PhD 

Leah Klingbeil, Marketing Specialist at LoginRadius at the time of the quote, wrote in a July 1, 2015 article for Social Media Today titled "Is Social Media Bad for Us?":
"What about the good that's come from the incredible reach of social media? Like... natural disaster response. Tragic natural disasters will always occur, the difference is, we now have a way to respond immediately worldwide...

On... Twitter, 2.3 million Tweets were sent within the first 48 hours of the #HaitiEarthquake in 2010. 'Survivors took to social media to alert aid agencies of their need...' FEMA Tweeted during Hurricane Sandy: 'Phone lines may be congested during/after #Sandy. Let loved ones know you're okay by sending a text or updating your social networks'...

On... Facebook, 4.5 million status updates contained the words: Japan, Earthquake, or Tsunami on March 11, 2011. Facebook responded by creating a Disaster Message Board, equipped with a SAFE button, which reached 3 million users by April 2011...

Social media networks are the new 'milk-cartons' in helping to find missing people. Loved ones and police now have access to hundreds of thousands of people with a single tweet, update, or photo stream. According to the National Centre for Missing or Exploited Children, social media has helped to resolved and recover 98.5% of AMBER alerts since 2005. Tools like SecuraChild, an AMBER alert system powered by social networks, dramatically increases chances of recovery by sending blasts of information to the social platforms."

July 1, 2015 - Leah Klingbeil 

Nicole Ellison, PhD, Assistant Professor of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University, stated the following in a Feb. 15, 2008 entry titled "Is MySpace Good for Society? A Freakonomics Quorum," from the Freakonomics blog hosted by the New York Times:
"I believe the benefits provided by social network sites such as Facebook have made us better off as a society and as individuals, and that, as they continue to be adopted by more diverse populations, we will see an increase in their utility. Anecdotal evidence of positive outcomes from these technologies -- such as political activities organized via Facebook or jobs found through LinkedIn -- is well-known, but now a growing corpus of academic research on social networks sites supports this view as well...

Social technologies never have predictable and absolute positive or negative effects, which is why social scientists dread questions like these. In considering the effects of social network sites, it is clear that there are many challenges to work through -- the increasing commercialization of this space, the need to construct strong privacy protections for users, and safety issues -- but I believe the benefits we receive as a society provided by these tools far outweigh the risks."

Feb. 15, 2008 - Nicole Ellison, PhD 

Zeynep Tufekci, PhD, Assistant Professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, wrote in an Apr. 25, 2012 article in The Atlantic titled "Social Media's Small, Positive Role in Human Relationships":
"[S]ocial media is a counterweight to the ongoing devaluation of human lives. Social media's rapid rise is a loud, desperate, emerging attempt by people everywhere to connect with *each other* in the face of all the obstacles that modernity imposes on our lives: suburbanization that isolates us from each other, long working-hours and commutes that are required to make ends meet, the global migration that scatters families across the globe, the military-industrial-consumption machine that drives so many key decisions, and, last but not least, the television - the ultimate alienation machine...

From Arab Spring dissidents who were minorities in their communities to my students from a variety of backgrounds, from gay teens in rural areas to just people who feel awkward when in company of new people, I've heard the sentiment again and again that new communication tools are what saved their (offline) social lives...

Can't be close to your family because your job took you to the other end of the planet? You can still share updates on Facebook. Your government is censoring news of your protest? You can tweet photos of it. You cannot find people interested in a particular kind of music which moves you? Surely, there is a community."

Apr. 25, 2012 - Zeynep Tufekci, PhD 

Ben Parr, Co-Editor of Mashable, stated the following in his Jan. 20, 2010 article titled "Social Media's True Impact on Haiti, China, and the World," posted on mashable.com:
"With the Iranian government clamping down on information and enforcing censorship [during protests of the Iranian presidential election in June 2009], Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube became the primary mediums for bringing information out of the conflicted nation and spreading notes between dissidents... Twitter's role was so important in fact that the US government got involved in scheduling Twitter's downtime...

After a magnitude 7.0 earthquake (and multiple aftershocks) devastated the nation of Haiti [on Jan. 12, 2010], social media became the medium in which everybody spread the word. Dramatic Haiti earthquake Twitter pictures swept across the web, while tech giants mobilized. The most impressive part of social media's impact on Haiti has to be the charity text message campaign that has already raised more than $10 million for Haiti victim relief. Social media spread the word, technology made it possible...

Real-time communication platforms like Twitter and Facebook have spread the word about what's happening within these nations, long before the mainstream media prints the story. These tools have also created a level awareness we've never seen before."

Jan. 20, 2010 - Ben Parr 

George Skelton, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, in a May 5, 2016 article for the Los Angeles Times titled "How Did Trump Become the Presumptive Nominee? Blame Twitter," wrote:
"[Social media] nurtures short attention spans, the craving for instant gratification and impersonal barbaric behavior. No time for serious thinking or boning up on substance. A quick stimulating hit of social recognition will suffice. And no need for civility when you're not looking someone in the eye."

May 5, 2016 - George Skelton 

Essena O'Neill, social media celebrity, in an Oct. 27, 2015 Instagram post, reported on in part in a Nov. 2, 2015 article by Kristina Rodulfo for Elle titled "100 Shots, One Day of Not Eating: What Happens When You Say What Really Goes Into the Perfect Bikini Selfie?," wrote:
"I've spent the majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status, and my physical appearance... [Social media] is contrived images and edited clips ranked against each other. It's a system based on social approval, likes, validation, in views, success in followers. it's perfectly orchestrated self-absorbed judgement...

How can we see ourselves and our true purpose/talents if we are constantly viewing others?... Many of us are in so deep we don't realize [social media's] delusional powers and the impact it has on our lives...

I can't tell you how free I feel without social media. Never again will I let a number define me. IT SUFFOCATED ME."

Oct. 27, 2015 - Essena O'Neill 

Lindsay Williams, freelance writer, editor, and blogger, wrote in a Dec. 29, 2015 article for Relevant titled "6 Ways Social Media Is Ruining Our Friendships," available at the Relevant Magazine website:
"Whether we like to admit it or not, social media, in all its forms, has taken a toll on our relationships - particularly our friendships...

Social media makes us feel like we know people better than we really do. Let's get one thing straight: Liking someone's photos on Instagram does not a friendship make. Genuine relationships take time and communication—preferably face-to-face...

Social media misleads us to believe that we have a large, built-in support system. But that support system is merely a number, not real life... The only real way to foster community is to live life with people over time...

Social media puts up virtual walls. Most of the time, we don't air our dirty laundry online for fear of what others might think. We only Instagram our best moments and tweet about the most extraordinary few minutes of our day... Yet, it's only in our mess, in our brokenness, when we can become fully known. The friends who know us best are those who have seen us at our worst—and loved us any way. Those types of friendships are only crafted through the nitty gritty life moments that we'd all be too embarrassed to divulge on Facebook...

We've become so obsessed with making sure the story we're telling on social media looks exciting and beautiful and meaningful that we've failed to pay adequate attention to the stories other people are telling. It's easy for us to be me-focused when social media forces us to play the part. How can we ever be a good friend when we have no room for another person in our carefully crafted lives?"

Dec. 28, 2015 - Lindsay Williams 

The Happiness Research Institute, a Danish independent think tank focusing on life satisfaction, happiness, and quality of life, in a 2015 report titled "The Facebook Experiment: Does Social Media Affect the Quality of Our Lives?," available at the Happiness Research Institute website, wrote:
"This experiment was conducted on 1095 people in Denmark. We randomly assigned half of them to the following task: do not use Facebook for one week...

After one week without Facebook the treatment group reported a significantly higher level of life satisfaction...

People who had taken a break from Facebook felt happier and were less sad and lonely...

After one week without Facebook the treatment group experienced an increase in their social activity – and an increase in their satisfaction with their social life...

After one week without Facebook the treatment group experienced less concentration difficulties...

People on Facebook are 55% more likely to feel stressed...

After one week without Facebook the treatment group felt they wasted their time less."

2015 - Happiness Research Institute 

Stephen Fry, actor, comedian, journalist, and President of Mind, a UK-based mental health charity, in a Feb. 15, 2016 blog post titled "Too Many People Have Peed in the Pool," available from stephenfry.com, wrote:
"[L]et us grieve at what twitter has become. A stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended - worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know. It's as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined. It doesn't matter whether they think they're defending women, men, transgender people, Muslims, humanists... the ghastliness is absolutely the same...

But you've let the trolls and nasties win! If everyone did what you did, Stephen, the slab-faced dictators of tone and humour would have the place to themselves. Well, yes and they're welcome to it. Perhaps then they'll have nothing to smell but their own smell.

So I don't feel anything today other than massive relief, like a boulder rolling off my chest. I am free, free at last."

Feb. 15, 2016 - Stephen Fry 

Suren Ramasubbu, MBA, President and CEO of Mobicip, a company that makes parental controls for phones, tablets, and computers, in an Apr. 7, 2015 opinion piece for the Huffington Post titled "Teenagers and the Internet," wrote:
"Difficulty in self-regulation, lack of awareness of repercussions of privacy compromise and susceptibility to peer pressure are listed as reasons for teenagers' cavalier attitude towards online risks such as sexting, cyberbullying and exposure to inappropriate content as they navigate the tricky waters of social media...

[T]he risks of Internet and social media to teenagers is just as real as the risks in society. Cyberbullying, in the forms of name-calling and gossiping, spreading rumors, making threats or otherwise sending malicious messages through emails, message boards and social media, has augmented offline bullying and estimates of the incidence of cyber bullying range from 23 to 72% in various studies... Exposure to age-inappropriate content is another serious risk because it causes much damage to an age-group that is already prone to sexual uncertainty and uncommitted and possibly unsafe sexual exploration. Dangerous communities that support self-harm activities, such as anorexia, drug use, and such other disruptive concepts are also serious pitfalls."

Apr. 7, 2015 - Suren Ramasubbu, MBA 

Imogen Farris, Staff Writer at the Odyssey at the time of the quote, wrote in an Aug. 17, 2015 article for the Odyssey titled "I Hate Social Media and You Should Too":
"[S]ocial media is turning us into people I really don't think we want to be. Each and every day, people are constantly sharing, posting and tweeting. We're becoming glued to computers, phones and tablets, always wanting to know what the people around us are doing. There are so many social media sites today, and honestly, I don't think it's worth the effort to try and keep up.

Facebook is hands-down the number one culprit of taking our attention and causing us to live vicariously through others. We become 'friends' with people we don't even know just so we can share pictures of our daily lives and like statuses that don't even matter. It's become a platform for people to judge and even be cruel to each other. I genuinely don't think people would behave this way if they weren't safely behind a keyboard."

Aug. 17, 2015 - Imogen Farris 

Theo Priestley, former VP of Marketing at Software AG, wrote in an Aug. 13, 2015 article for Forbes titled "Is Social Media Just Another Bad Habit To Break?":
"Social media has turned a lot of us into a reflex-based automaton...

It's become easier to scribble a couple of sentences for all to see rather than pick up the phone and have a real conversation with someone on the other end. And what's actually pretty frightening is how we've come to accept opening our front door to the world as the norm...

Social media has turned the art of expression into a post-it note...

Social media is an addiction, but not a good one...

Social media is rapidly becoming as bad as smoking for the human condition...

Social media is just another habit to kick."

Aug. 13, 2015 - Theo Priestley 

Michael Bublé, singer-songwriter, stated in a Mar. 17, 2014 interview with George Stroumboulopoulos, a video and part-transcript of which is available from cbc.ca under the title "Michael Bublé: I Hate Social Media":
"I hate social media... You can't do anything. You can't get away with anything. Not that that's what I'm trying to do, but you're burned all the time.

It's not just about me. I watch it happen to other people and it scares me... People can say whatever they want and the best part is it doesn't have to be true. There's no responsibility that they have to take, there's no integrity.... It's blogs. People can write whatever they want about you. Sometimes it can be ridiculous and you can think to yourself, 'Well, no one will believe that.' But they do."

Mar. 17, 2014 - Michael Bublé 

Joseph Dana, MA, independent freelance journalist, wrote in an Oct. 18, 2015 opinion piece for The National titled "Social Media Increases the Volume, but Not the Debate":
"Social media encourages aggressive discourse. The louder one is on Twitter, for example, the more followers and attention one receives. The more dramatic the update on Facebook, the more 'likes' it will get.

Given the brevity of Twitter and its inherent commodification of discourse, deep discussion is discouraged. As such, social media provides the illusion of empowering users when in fact it merely entrenches their views, silos them with like-minded people and encourages rude exchanges with adversaries. The American novelist Jonathan Franzen, known for his critical views on the internet, has called Twitter the 'ultimate irresponsible medium' for these reasons."

Oct. 18, 2015 - Joseph Dana, MA 

Himanshu Tyagi, MRCPsych, MBBS, Specialist Registrar in Psychotherapy at the Springfield University Hospital in London, UK, stated the following in an address to the Annual Meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, as quoted in a July 3, 2008 press release from the Royal College of Psychiatrists:
"It's a world where everything moves fast and changes all the time, where relationships are quickly disposed at the click of a mouse, where you can delete your profile if you don't like it and swap an unacceptable identity in the blink of an eye for one that is more acceptable. People used to the quick pace of online social networking may soon find the real world boring and unstimulating, potentially leading to more extreme behaviour to get that sense.

It may be possible that young people who have no experience of a world without online societies put less value on their real world identities and can therefore be at risk in their real lives, perhaps more vulnerable to impulsive behaviour or even suicide."

July 3, 2008 - Himanshu Tyagi, MRCPsych, MBBS 

Edward De Bono, MD, PhD, DPhil, Founding Director of the Cognitive Research Trust, in an Oct. 3, 2011 interview with news.com.au, available under the title "Edward De Bono Says Social Media Makes Us Lazy and Stupid," stated:
"There's a danger in the internet and social media... The notion that information is enough, that more-and-more information is enough, that you don't have to think, you just have to get more information - gets very dangerous...

[P]eople say 'I don't have to think, information will make my decision for me', and that completely rules out creativity using the information in a different way, or new way...

(Social media causes) laziness – that we just feel we'll just get more information and we don't need to have ideas ourselves – we'll get ideas from someone else, we don't need to look at the data we'll just see what someone else has said and so on."

Oct. 3, 2011 - Edward De Bono, MD, PhD, DPhil 

Stephen Marche, PhD, novelist and columnist for Esquire, wrote in a May 2012 article for the Atlantic titled "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?":
"Social media - from Facebook to Twitter - have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic) - and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill...

What Facebook has revealed about human nature - and this is not a minor revelation - is that a connection is not the same thing as a bond, and that instant and total connection is no salvation, no ticket to a happier, better world or a more liberated version of humanity. Solitude used to be good for self-reflection and self-reinvention. But now we are left thinking about who we are all the time, without ever really thinking about who we are. Facebook denies us a pleasure whose profundity we had underestimated: the chance to forget about ourselves for a while, the chance to disconnect."

May 2012 - Stephen Marche, PhD 

Kim Stolz, former model and VP of Equity Derivative Sales at Citi at the time of the quote, stated in a June 24, 2014 interview with Eliana Dockterman for TIME titled "Kim Stolz: How Social Media Is Ruining Our Relationships":
"I think the rise of social media is definitely correlated with the rise of narcissism in our society. Our self-esteem depends on how many likes we get, how many followers we get, if someone texts us back...

But just as quickly as I might scroll through Instagram and see 100 people liked a photo of me, and that makes me feel good, the next moment I might see all of my friends hanging out the night before and wonder why I wasn't invited and feel extremely lonely about that. Now more than ever there are some major highs and really depressing lows, and they come so close together. So you begin to feel numb to genuine emotion...

I think a lot of relationships have been ruined by one person's addiction to social media, whether that addiction leads to a connection with a past love or crush—and that can be detrimental—or sometimes it simply means that you get home at night to spend time with your significant other and you have nothing to talk about because you've spoken about everything all day through social media or you've looked through each other's social media feeds.

There's been an emerging body of research that shows that when you stop having offscreen interaction, you lose empathy. You lose the ability to have genuine reactions to real problems and real things."

June 24, 2014 - Kim Stolz 

Susan Greenfield, DPhil, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford, stated the following in her Feb. 12, 2009 speech to the UK House of Lords, the transcript of which is available from the Daily Hansard:
"Social networking sites might tap into the basic brain systems for delivering pleasurable experience. However, these experiences are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity."

Feb. 12, 2009 - Susan Greenfield, DPhil 

Tom Hodgkinson, writer for the Guardian, stated the following in his Jan. 14, 2008 article titled "With Friends Like These...," published in the Guardian:
"I despise Facebook. This enormously successful American business describes itself as 'a social utility that connects you with the people around you'. But hang on. Why on God's earth would I need a computer to connect with the people around me? Why should my relationships be mediated through the imagination of a bunch of supergeeks in California? What was wrong with the pub?

And does Facebook really connect people? Doesn't it rather disconnect us, since instead of doing something enjoyable such as talking and eating and dancing and drinking with my friends, I am merely sending them little ungrammatical notes and amusing photos in cyberspace, while chained to my desk?...

Clearly, Facebook is another uber-capitalist experiment: can you make money out of friendship? Can you create communities free of national boundaries -- and then sell Coca-Cola to them? Facebook is profoundly uncreative. It makes nothing at all. It simply mediates in relationships that were happening anyway."

Jan. 14, 2008 - Tom Hodgkinson 

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