The Effects of Social Media on Social Development

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In our society today, how is the mass use and overabundance of social media affecting the latest generation? In previous generations, this was a problem that no one had to deal with as social media, even most computers, were unused by the general majority of the population. However, with Facebook, Snapchat, and all others forms of online connectivity are available for everyone, there is a whole new generation growing up in a social media saturated world. Most would say that the use of social media is corrupting the new generation.

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Some people may believe that using social media is doing little to no harm on the new generation. In this day of age, social media is causing younger people to struggle in their social development and have delayed growth because of it.

As humans begin to grow during the development process, the relationships humans form greatly affect how they socially develop. Humans have a psychological need to form relationships with and socialize with others. It is the way people learn to fight a bully or find their one true love in the large sea of people. Without learning these lessons, one would not know how to act in social situations and have a harder time when interacting with others.

However, in recent years with the rise of social media, multiple problems have been on the rise. People have not been able to receive certain social skills they need to develop to become functioning adults. This was not a problem back when one had to actually go and talk with others for social interaction, but now people can choose to only communicate with others online. Nobody is forced to receive that in-person group experience that one may normally be pushed to receive (Konnikova 239). This leads to many who choose to communicate mostly online to have less social lessons learned, like being generous to others or how to act when confronted with a bully. They are not receiving the necessary information to interact with others effectively. These people also tend to form less real world bonds. A large majority of people have trouble in social situations as and have trouble interacting with others in a social group. These skills need to be developed early in a human’s life as well. Developing these skills later in life are more difficult as the brain is already fully developed.

Confirming that people need social interaction to develop properly, an experiment was done by American psychologist Harry Harlow. Part of the set of experiments involved isolating the young monkeys from their mothers and other young monkeys.

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