It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Facebook, social media and the devolution of relationships in society

page: 1
5

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 05:29 PM
link   
Have you ever gone to a family picnic with a family with roots in India? I have and it is nice. Uncles, Grandparents, cousins and kids get together to socialize, hang-out, develop bonds, and be their for one another. If you become friends with some of these folks you find their Grandparents living in the house, and maybe a joint effort of raising the kids at home.

America today, on the other hand, is startlingly segregated by age and family relative to historic norms. Modernization has brought about a separation of age old relationships that existed between generations and family. We have chosen to part with the elderly for their costly, grumpy, or stodgy ways. And, we have chosen to log into a virtual world, to find like minded souls. If you are seen as not useful in advancing our careers or providing me instant gratification , we say “let them live in their own communities.”

The thing is, it is the unchosen obligations that we have as humanity that have historically pushed people together... despite our irritableness and our inconvenience to each other. We have ignored this and have advanced social separateness in general and generationally separateness in particular. The advent of the Welfare state accelerated this division; by making elderly wards of the state. Obligations to them came from the government, not their own families. Now we have people that want the state to raise our children.

We used to live in the same neighbourhoods, stay in the same house, and get to know our neighbours next store. Now we watch TV and relate to our favourite character's instead of our next community around us.

Facebook and the digital world that youths inhabit has expanded this dissociation. Digital networking connects us across geographical and political boundaries and makes us citizens of the world. But, we can mentally depart from a relationship by clicking a button (you cannot do this with your cranky Grandfather). Facebook is actually a tool for autonomy and mental laziness. We can associate with those we like, but click a button to remove “friends” who we do not agree. We can also choose the Face that someone see’s—which may not be our real face at all. In fact, studies have shown many children refuse to ‘friend” parents because...well, they just wouldn't get you.

Why is this an issue? Alienation from our families, community and culture makes us senseless to what is going on around us. We are less likely to develop patience and character and learn about the tradition of our own families and community.

What if: 1) More people died in their homes (we could understand the life cycle better)
2) People once again took their aging parents in to care for them (then could share their life experiences with their Grandchildren who would immortalize them).
3) We improved employment opportunities for seniors (the US now punishes people for working past 62---allow seniors to work without paying FICA tax!)
4) We stayed in our communities and developed relationships with those around us.

We need to address the threat to human communities and end this separation, alienation and self-enclosure we call life in North America. then we could reconnect with our families and society, and no longer look to faceless institutions to save us. The balkanizing of society could cease.
edit on 1-7-2011 by Ultraman2011 because: spelling




posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 06:10 PM
link   
Don't think its only America; if anything, things seem worse in Korea, Japan, and among certain circles in China, to name a few. It's not due to social networking per se in those cultures as heavily, but perhaps to gaming and mobile computing. Same end result.

You can be sure as India develops, its traditional family structure will experience strong distortion. Still, it can be said that the US is a particular case in terms of community mobility. There are families on the East Coast and in the South with roots there streching back almost 400 years, but by and large America has always been a frontier society. Mobility and rootlessness are a big part of the culture, and there is a particular American brand of isolation -- many brands, in fact -- that comes from this. So I think America can serve as a strong example. Social networking exacerbates it.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 08:24 PM
link   

Originally posted by Ultraman2011
Facebook and the digital world that youths inhabit has expanded this dissociation. Digital networking connects us across geographical and political boundaries and makes us citizens of the world. But, we can mentally depart from a relationship by clicking a button (you cannot do this with your cranky Grandfather). Facebook is actually a tool for autonomy and mental laziness. We can associate with those we like, but click a button to remove “friends” who we do not agree. We can also choose the Face that someone see’s—which may not be our real face at all. In fact, studies have shown many children refuse to ‘friend” parents because...well, they just wouldn't get you.


I know quite a few members of my family and their friends who are all Facebook friends with relatives of all ages. What's worse is an 11 year old cousin responds to and receives messages from her mother (who lives in the same house) despite them talking all the time face to face.

I get what you mean though but it's always been like it. I stopped talking to a lot of immediate family other than my parents as far as my musical tastes (which I shared with them somewhat with my dad being a heavy metal fan as was my mother whose favourite band is Metallica) as did others.

Some friends over the years didn't really talk much about their love of pro wrestling outside of social circles with friends for the same thing.

It's not just Facebook and other social media sites that causes it, it's our own individual tastes. My grandmother hated The Beatles and preferred the Rolling Stones and so didn't talk to the people who loved that (in my opinion) overrated Scouse band. After that, an aunt was a punk in the late 70s who spent most of her youth around other punks. Social media sites didn't exist back then but it's the same thing.

Now while I don't have any social media accounts myself other than Instant Messaging, that IM is a lifeline for me because of my severe depression and apparent agoraphobia so the only contacts with the outside world I have are the two people I speak to outside of the immediate family I live with (one of those two being my girlfriend who I met through a website and who I rely on IM to speak to).

Of course they are a bane of society but for others, they're a chance to catch up with old friends and acquaintences you haven't seen for years or for those in situations like myself to connect with the outside world.


3) We improved employment opportunities for seniors (the US now punishes people for working past 62---allow seniors to work without paying FICA tax!)


Could always send them to the UK, people here are complaining that pension age is increased and that from 2020 they won't be able to retire at 60 for women and 65 for men any more, you have to be at least 66 years of age before you can stop working.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 09:30 PM
link   
reply to post by Ultraman2011
 


Very well said and well written. These are issues I ponder at length, and you did a great job of verbalizing them.

The facebook thing is very fascinating. So few of us can even begin to comprehend what effects it is having on us and especially our youth, who are now growing up with it from the get-go.

A former co-worker/friend of my wife's perfectly summed up the effect that facebook is having on our idea of what a relationship is, without even realizing it.. We were visiting him in Boulder, CO and we were all catching up. At one point my wife asked him "so, do you ever talk to anybody else from work?". His response was priceless... he said, "well not really... but I'm friends with most of them on facebook so I feel like I keep up with what they're doing".

I wish I could back this up scientifically.. but it seems that when you use facebook, it triggers the same types of feelings you get from actually seeing or talking to a person, even if you're just seeing their 'status updates'. You see what they're up to, you can see pictures, you feel informed and you get the impression that you're up-to-date with their life. You could literally keep up with every major and minor detail of a person's life - where they've vacationed to, what job they're currently working, what restaurants they like to eat at, what music they've started to get in to - for months or even years WITHOUT EVER ACTUALLY TALKING TO THE PERSON. With facebook, you're not seeing a person or hearing from a friend, you're seeing and hearing from THEIR PROFILE, their carefully constructed cyber-identity. It's madness..



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 09:53 PM
link   
Good point. We are being raised by the internet. Divide and conquer, its all in the playbook if you know what I mean.

Then again the internet is just a tool. What we do with the tool is what gives it the qualities we deem negative or positive. I would say the majority of people on here are using the internet to expand their knowledge and the knowledge of others. I don't see how that can hurt unless the person is a complete sheep and does use the power of skepticism when viewing the information.

Lastly, Mark Zuckerburg is scum and so is his Agent Anderson. Feds- the world would still spin without em.



posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 12:51 AM
link   
Facebook does assist with the devolution of relationaships.

that personable touch we used to have with friends and family is just about gone.

I deleted my Facebook account a few months ago and feel so much freer (and smarter) because of it



posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 12:56 AM
link   
You are not realizing that the world is constantly changing and people will change with it. Technology advances and so do we.

I'm sure the same could be said for people during the industrial revolution when they complained that instead of living in the country as a family with nice neighbors now everyone was moving to the city's where nobody knows each other.

This example can be applied at anytime during human civilization. Unless you are advocating the removal of all technological advance this change is inevitable.



posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 05:31 PM
link   
reply to post by kro32
 


Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. I agree with your premise about the evolution of society as we march on. I would suggest that the difference is, this is a change in th way we actually interact and communicate with one another.

I read awhile back that the 20 something generation are entering the work force and seem to be lacking the ability , in some cases, to communicate and deal with constuctive review. Also, they cannot express their opinions and relate in the same way as the generations ahead of them.

They end up crying or quitting if someone expresses an area of potential improvement at work. It has been suggested this is because they have communicated with instant messaging, blogs and Facebook. They lack the ability of the previous generations to have the one on one connections with their fellow human. As far as family, something like 44% of them ended up being raised in a single parent family--which further deepens the problem.

In another recent study (as per David Brooks) Asians were told "Despite our differences, we should respect and love our parents"; and 97% agreed with this statement. When this phrase was given to Danish people, only 35% agreed with it.

We are changing the way we relate, instead of where we live and work. It is a significant change in human interaction for the first time in something like 3,000 years.



posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 06:19 PM
link   
Why must we cling to increasingly outdated social practices instead of naturally progressing into modernised social customs?

I think the way people behave these days has a lot more freedom. You see, with popular modern culture, individuality is becoming more of a struggle to personally realise. For people to break free of their traditional familial duties means they can live a more individual life than they could otherwise, without the restraints such duties would place upon their time. Social media such as facebook presents a platform for people to express themselves directly, without having to censor their opinions in consideration to their families.

Some may say this is a rather selfish development of modern personalities, but I see it as only a natural progression. Where else can people find any sort of freedom of personal expression other than in being direct in communication of their thoughts and feelings? Physically, individuality may be becoming scarcer and scarcer, but mentally, it is certainly on the rise.



new topics

top topics



 
5

log in

join