Has social media changed the way in which we communicate for the better?

Here are two fantastic TED talks in which Jon Ronson and Sherry Turkle discuss the impact of social media on the ways in which we communicate in the 21st century.

Jon Ronson: When online shaming spirals out of control

Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone?

What do you think of the way in which we communicate with each other now? Has social media had a positive impact?


  1. Will Shilton

    Before I watched the two TED talks I believed that everyone treated social media differently and that everyone had different reasons for using it. However, my view on this has changed now that I have watched these videos. I now think that in some way or another everyone is trying to show the most exciting, the most desirable, the most perfected versions of themselves. Everyone in the back of their mind is thinking the same thing before posting something on social media; is this good enough to post? Although I mainly use social media for inspiration or entertainment, when I do post I almost always think about if it is worth posting.

    A key point in Jon Ronson’s TED talk was that everyone wants to hear the same common idea or feeling towards something. For example, the response to Justine Sacco’s tweet was consistently negative and because this was the common response, everyone wanted to see nothing but that. So, when someone did stick up for Justine they too were also put down by the people who sided with the negativity. In the media-driven world we live in today, everyone wants to hear and see the same ideal thing. It’s as if anything new, different or outside the box is completely forbidden from the ideal world that we live in, because it is not what the mainstream wants to see.

    Some people have become so indulged into social media, that their real lives are becoming harder as they no longer understand how to have a conversation with someone in the real world. This was mentioned in Sherry Turkle’s TED talk, and it sparked this idea to me that some people have become so used to editing and deleting what they want to say in a message that when it comes to the real thing they freeze and have no clue what to say. I believe this is a growing problem in the younger generations as it is taking away their possibilities of learning and understanding from talking and interacting with other people in the real world.


  2. Chloe Priest

    Coming from a daily user of social media, i feel as if my views are biased that social media is positive for teenagers and adults. However, after watching these videos it has made me realise the extent of how obsessed our generation are becoming to it.

    As we are typically ‘glued’ to our phones, we lose track of how long we actually spend on our mobile devices on either Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Hours go by when we don’t even realise as we are too busy scrolling. Our communication is slowly talking more on social media than in real life. People even use the computer screen to their advantage and say things that they wouldn’t typically say in real life, which could really diminish someones self confidence. Personally, i believe this is the worst negative of social media as you can easily be targeted.

    Arguably, social media does have various positives as you can keep in contact with family or friends overseas which you wouldn’t of been able to do back in time. You can easily keep up to date with news and information about anything. Additionally, it can be extremely beneficial when it comes to curing boredom due to the unlimited games.

    In conclusion, these TED videos have enlightened me to see the negatives in social media when really i only saw the positives. I have now realised that we are becoming more addicted to social media and we seem to be unaware. We are creating a society where face to face communication is less common and its all about talking on group chats. For future generations, they will grow up surrounded by social media more than ever.


  3. Robert Tyler

    In this ever developing world in which we live in, the use of social media is no longer a choice but is instead a necessity. The ability to adapt is a trait that is founded through the evolution of humanity over generations, with the frequent use of social media becoming an adaptation that society has subconsciously made. It provides a world where people are no longer judged on their class or the quality of their upbringing, but instead gives people free licence to portray themselves in a completely different image to people who will never encounter them face to face. Social media platforms are based upon the notion of creating and improving a relationships, whether they business or personal. Therefore it clearly offers common and perhaps even mediocre people in the harsh reality of the real world, to create a better life for themselves!

    The ridiculing and demise of Justine Sacco in Jon Ronson’s TED talk is a clear and concerning revelation of social media’s ability to punish those who make the simplest mistakes. It is world without an undo button! Simply put, you can buy twitter a bouquet of flowers as a form of apology. However, for every unlucky person who’s live is devastated by the harsh brutality of social media, a new opportunity of a better career is offered to a person who has been given the capability to demonstrate their talents through social media. Social media has the impressive ability to highlight a persons deepest thoughts and feeling. It proves that social media is a tool to be feared but also to be utilised.

    It is undeniable that social media’s ability to connect people on a worldwide scale is beneficiary to all generations of people. 50 years ago if I wanted to contact my sister on the other side of the world in Australia I would’ve had to write her a letter which could’ve took a good few weeks to be delivered. Contrary to this, in the present day it takes me mere seconds to deliver a message to her which she can view immediately. Due to this, methods of communication such as letters are being consigned to being ancient and out of date.

    Nevertheless, it is painfully clear to see that this new enthralling part of our modern lives is causing us to lose touch with reality. Social has caused the deterioration of a persons ability to communicate verbally with others, a skill which is prioritised by employers and friends alike. Perhaps the blunt updates of birthdays and engagements which social media platforms such as Facebook allow people to share, could be instead be exchanged for a suffixal phone call to the person whom the update effects. In a world where eyes are fixed on to little black screens, perhaps if we lifted our heads we might realise that the people and the world around us are more important than the video of a cat running into a door which has popped up on your timeline. After all there must be a founded reason why the older generation refer to the pre social media era as the ‘good old days’!


  4. Ella Haworth

    Before watching these TED talks, social media and technology was always something I brushed off or didn’t think that much about. Its always been a part of my life, I have never experienced a world where people didn’t spend hours a day on their phone, posting photos, updating statuses. Normality to me is sharing your world online, every moment liked or re-tweeted, every relationship posted without a second thought. Our world is intertwined with technology, we show the world ourselves, but to what extent?
    As a community we share who we want to be, with whoever we desire, so we can leave the imprint we want on this world. Positivity seems to be something we preach online and interfaces such as Twitter and Instagram give us the platform to share this message. Hashtags for body positivity and female empowerment bombard these types of sites everyday, strangers connecting over important issues, creating a seemingly harmonious community.
    Just as Jon mentioned, social media humanises us in way, we feel better about ourselves knowing someone is going through the same as you. On the surface, technology is a place of hope and prosperity to strive for greater understanding, when the fantasy of social media is met, nothing could get in the way. But suddenly when a comment arises that you and your online ‘companions’ don’t agree with, all hope is suddenly lost in a sea of aggressive replies, becoming sensationalised. Your one small voice becomes an echo of thousands, nothing is held back like there maybe would in a newspaper. This post reaches the entire globe, with millions of online communities persecuting one person. We do this because we feel comfortable, we know that others feel the same way too, we can’t be shamed because then the rest of the world would be too. As a human, we all know that if we were that one person who made a mistake, we would feel terrible; but because we hide behind a shadow, we disregard the consequences.
    Technology changes us, it gives us power we could never imagine, we can speak to who we want, when we want, without boundaries. We are connected to our friends but isolated from them in real life. We want each other, but at a distance- where we can control what we say and how it is taken- technology allows us to edit, delete and change any text, any comment, any post.
    Social media lets us share our life, but it keeps us from truly living.


  5. Maya-Lily Wan

    I have never been a fan of social media and have only ever used it as a portal into the places in the world that I can reach and explore. Social media is also a connection to friends and a quicker way to get in contact with them if I needed.


  6. Sharan Kaur

    Most teenagers, like myself, use social media daily and therefore my views are biased. However, i do believe that social media has positive and negative impacts that do affect teenagers, also the younger generation.

    Because of social media, teenagers are more likely to become antisocial due to lack of communication in reality. We don’t realise how often we are on our mobile devices throughout daily life. This means that we are wasting most of our valuable time just scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Teenagers now communicate through mobile apps such as Snapchat or Twitter, this can be dangerous as anonymous people can hide behind the screens such as predators which makes children become an easy target. This can lead to the worst to happen such as online grooming, which is a main negative point to address.

    However, social media does have positives such as you can use the internet for contacting family and friends that live overseas. Therefore, this makes it easier for communication as video calling on applications such as Skype enables individuals to video call. The internet can be useful for things such as online shopping which makes it easier for people such as the older generation. Another positive impact of social media is that it may help boost an individual’s self esteem and confidence, for example, when they receive comments or likes on selfies.

    In conclusion, i believe that after watching the TED videos, i have realised many of the negative impacts of social media which has made me believe that the amount of people on social media will keep growing throughout the years in the future as each generation will get more addicted. This will affect how we all communicate with each other as more people will become antisocial because of lack of conversation in reality.


  7. Chasey-lain Willis

    What do you think of the way in which we communicate with each other now? Has social media had a positive impact?

    Prior to watching both TED talks I was unaware of how much we depend upon social media in our daily lives. Whether that is to post a snap on snapchat or to tweet out our feelings to the whole online world on twitter… Scary. It’s crazy to think that 10 years ago I would have been sat at home colouring, playing with toys or messing around in the garden. Nowadays, at the age of 6 children are engrossed with technology; it’s the easiest way to keep kids entertained. However, growing up from such a young age with technology is damaging.

    Every day social media is becoming a bigger and bigger part in our lives and society itself. You can’t walk around school nowadays without seeing the majority of people on their phones texting, snapchatting or calling their mates. Most of us are unaware of the positive and negative impacts social media has on us. After watching Ronson and Turkle discuss the impacts and the way we talk to one another online, has helped to open my eyes and make me understand that if we don’t change the way we communicate with one another now then we never will. It will continue to get worse. Social media is to blame for the poor behaviour and manners we have to one another. Twitter is seen to be a powerful site, people admit their ‘shameful secrets’ to the world and then twitter (the ‘mutual approval machine’) does its job and finds people that approve of your thoughts. It’s so powerful it even made ‘voiceless’ people realise that they had a voice. Ronson discussed how dramatic and immense the impacts of social media can be. This was discussed via Justine Sacco’s tweet. It shows just how quickly something can be perceived in the wrong context and spread around the world just at the click of a button. Once the whole world knows everyone gets together and acts like a barrier, firing hurtful and damaging comments at you. It dehumanises people and makes them feel worthless.

    Our devices are so psychologically powerful that they don’t only change what we do, they change who we are. Sometimes social media changes you for the worse. You’re often put into a situation where you say something to someone that you would never say to someone in real life. This leaves you with a lack of self-confidence and self-worth.
    Once we snap back into the harsh reality.. we find ourselves stuck in conversation because we can no longer think nor control what we are about to say. Social media gets the best of us. The majority of us are lonely but we’re afraid of intimacy, So social media appeals to us most when we are vulnerable.

    To conclude my overall opinions, I think we have poor communication online with one another. Social media has a huge impact on this. We are fooled into believing what is wrong instead of what is right. The videos have helped to highlight the key impacts that social media has on our lives and have shown how poor our communication skills really are; leaving us in a situation where we can live without social media. But really… we don’t want to.


  8. sophie walsh

    Before watching the TED videos my opinion was that social media could be considered a positive outlet for people allowing peers to see each other in the best possible light whilst also giving them control over how they portray themselves. After viewing these videos I have seen how people’s control can be completely taken away from them when it comes to one small comment being misconstrued and then swept up into a media storm for the pleasure of other people to watch and judge. I feel the amount of exposure people have to social media today has made people become less attached to making genuine human connections and people often need reminding that even though their words are on a screen they still carry the same amount of power to them.

    Everyone has fallen guilty to saying something about someone online. Whether it be in a private message or on a social platform allowing others to see but with the availability of things such as screenshot words can easily be spread allowing others to pass judgment on you without knowing the full picture, this is what I would consider the danger to social media and it can be one of the most damaging things to happen to someone. For example, Justine Sacco made one thoughtless joke however she lost her job and everything she had worked for all before she had even gotten off of her flight. This to me clearly demonstrates that social media needs to be given less power as if we carry on living in this internet ruled society things will only continue to escalate.


  9. Sion Pope

    Social Media has changed the way we communicate, for some it has made them more able to explore who they are and to communicate, for others it has made them more isolated. However, trying to definitavely say whether the whole of social media is bad is pointless because- like everything else in the world- it is not a black or white issue.
    For my Grandad say, it has lead to him reconnecting with old friends, seeing the world and learning more about it. Social Media caused him to learn about other cultures, appriciate other people and communicate more. He used social media positively and thus, had a positive experience and now is less isolated. There are people who have had bad experiences with social media that have caused hem to communicate less, but also through social media, lives have been saved. Whether it’s because of a self-defense video, a tweet about the himlich manouver or a post with Suicide Hotline numbers, social media has saved lives.
    I feel like people cherry pick examples and reach for stuff that appears new, but isn’t. We- especially in England- have been obsessed with appearing good and well-mannered to other people for centuries. Showing only you ‘best side’ is not a new thing, it just sounds like it because of the way we talk about social media. If you use it obsessively, and post for negative reasons- affirmation, revenge- then you will have a negative experience, but if you use social media healthily and post for the right reasons- to make others happy, to show something you’re proud of- then you’ll have a positive experience. People can grow and change and express themselves through social media. But, like everything else in the world, it’s not a black and white issue, just a disappointing grey.


  10. Elizabeth White

    My initial view of social media was that it acted as an alternative, almost paradoxical form of communication; how can something which seems to promote antisocial behaviour profess to be ‘social’? I did, however, marvel at the fact that online communication was breaking down barriers and giving us the opportunity to connect with others across the globe.

    I agree with Turkle’s claim that social media promotes a fear of solitude; I recognise in others, and in myself, that isolation is viewed as a problem, and what may previously have been a contentedness in being alone has now been usurped by a perennial craving for attention and approval – even in the most superficial forms. It seems to me that we feel almost as though we don’t exist without validation and connection. Equally, though, I feel that, to a certain extent, we also desire solitude – the safety of isolation – whereby we remain connected but only via a digital medium, to keep each other at arm’s length, which is certainly synonymous with Turkle’s ‘Goldilocks Effect’.

    Digital platforms provide the enticing opportunity for us to edit ourselves, presenting the most refined, calculated and perfected version for others to see, ironing out the flaws which, fundamentally, make us who we are. Many argue that this can boost self esteem, but I think editing yourself is not a successful way to reconcile yourself with your flaws – it simply “puts them to one side”, deepening the issue, as well as potentially fuelling our need for attention; ultimately, this seems to give rise to a ubiquitous and unhealthy egotism which now underlay our motivations for even our smallest movements online.

    Ronson also helped me realise that, while we can edit and perfect our online facades, social media seems to encourage animosity, revealing an extreme and reckless side to ourselves which perhaps would not have come into fruition without the outlet, the mask, of social media; the things we post feel indirect, so we become unfiltered, uncensored, and we disregard the consequences – examples of which were clear in aggressive Twitter responses to Justine Sacco’s faux pas. Another fundamental difference between physical and online interaction is that, while we pick which parts of ourselves we show, the things we post are far more permanent – chiselled into our feed – which can have damaging consequences, especially in cases like Justine Sacco’s. On the other hand, in conversation, indiscretions are ephemeral; they are easily recovered, easily forgotten and not universally accessible or available for free scrutiny.

    Overall, I agree with Turkle’s claim that digital platforms have the capacity to change who we are as people – usually in a negative way, however, I think if we remain in-touch with the “real” world and maintain self-awareness online, there is no reason why social media should not be used as a positive tool.


  11. Evie Biggs

    Social media is perceived to either be a curse or a blessing and the way you use it determines your view- supposedly. We are made to show our better attributes and our greatest achievements all in the hope of gaining acknowledgment. Sherry Turkle mentioned this in her TED talk, she noticed how everyone had a ‘perfect’ life on the internet and negative things were only shared to gain sympathy. She also discovered this is closing human interaction and people are now choosing to avoid it; this eradication is making relations wanted to be avoided and awkward. This is a prominent issue for the younger generation, but it is also affecting the older group too. People used to see each other and make time for one another but its now seen as acceptable to send a text every couple of weeks to ‘check-up’ on someone. A text doesn’t show effort and it only emphasises the divide social media has created.

    Being a user of social media myself, I see the constant need to have the most likes and post the best pictures on the internet. Teenagers use social media to show off their lives- they choose the best pictures they can and occasionally edit themselves in them to gain more likes. This approach is destroying the self-esteem of some teenagers, but others see the toxicity and choose to avoid it. This therefore makes those people talk to others in person and they don’t want to be caught up in the game that is social media. Thus, in some respects, the toxicity of social media has improved communication for the better but what does that say about the way we view communication? It’s regarded as a last resort for when we don’t want to be engulfed in social media and the pernicious effect it has.


  12. Grace Horton

    Social media communicates a diverse range of views, judgements and debates upon topical agendas which may or may not necessarily need discussing. This platform allows people to voice matters for others to react to, share, and create a great feeling of solidarity between themselves. But this unity of agreement, this notion of newly voiced ‘power’; doesn’t force suppression of other’s equally entitled opinions … right?

    Even though many significant topics are shared, for example: charity donations, safety awareness and health issues; most topical opinions deliberated are prejudiced from the influence of other comments made. Users take it upon themselves to mould a preconceived view upon others and situations, based upon what they have heard. Not who they have heard it from- almost as if they are being brainwashed by the social media community. Jon Ronson explored the notion of how the positivity of solidarity and agreement has been eradicated by social media overtime, and how the great concept of artificial interaction has been misconstrued from its own intentions. He embodies the notion that people get so caught up in the content feeling of doing the ‘right’ thing that they misjudge the effect their words can have upon somebody else. Comments intensify with hatred and hurtful phrases, which creates a vicious cycle of upset flowing through the centre of social media. Tens and thousands of people feel the urge to share their own opinion on situations they have inferred, just from the tap of a screen.

    Personally, I think that the concept of being able to communicate with people on the other side of the world is efficient in many ways. I think that social media allows people to build knowledge of the world that surrounds them and the current affairs that are significant at that moment. On the other hand, I feel that many people take advantage of social media platforms and abuse the kind of democracy that it is built around. People adjust and change the way people view them, in order to make their lives seem ‘perfect’, hiding their reality behind a screen. As Sherry Turkle said, this can cause a feeling of solitude and isolation for those people, and forces them to think they can’t communicate their true selves because they aren’t good enough. The idea of being ‘alone together’ suggests that the more people share their ‘perfect’ lives with everyone else- the more alone they truly feel.


  13. Chloe cartwright

    Social media has became a huge part of our daily lives, so much so it would be very noticeable if it was to just disappear. The use of social media has given people a voice who once never had one. However, it is how people use that voice that decides if social media is having a positive or negative impact on our lives. We find ourselves getting more and more engrossed in the online world. Even more so than the real world around us.

    In Jon Ronsons Ted talk, he discusses how the impact of social media has on our lives. “It gave the voiceless people a voice” he says. Ronsons uses the example of the tweet from Justine Sacco. The users of Twitter were fast to jump on the defence of people suffering HIV, so much so that they forgot about the effect that their actions was having on Justine. We almost had a pack mentality that everyone must agree that what she did was wrong. Anyone that disagreed with them was also wrong, leading for them to get turned on too. As everyone was all on the same page it was very much like they were getting mutual approval and making themselves feel good, whilst destroying someone else. But would we have reacted the same way if we were face to face?

    In Sherry Turkles’ Ted talk she discuss how that through social media we are more connected, but also making ourselves much more isolated. We are lacking the communication skills to hold formual conversation. The younger generations would much rather text than talk. She says “we get to edit, delete what we say”. Directly off this is proves that we feel less in control holding a face to face conversation than over text.

    The human race is losing our empathy as a result of the amount of time we are spending on social media. As a young person myself I believe that we should all spend time away from our phones and from the toxic environment of social media. It connects people and brings us together, however it can also divide us and make us even more alone.


  14. Charlotte Smith

    Before watching both TED talks, I believed that there was no one way that social media was used, and that different people used and treated social media very differently. However, I now believe that, although some peopled use social media more positively than others, all social media users use it to show the most desirable, and best parts of their lives. On the other hand, I still believe that although social media has brought some positivity in the means of communication etc., yet there are also people who do not use it positively, but put negativity into people’s lives.

    After watching Jon Ronson’s TED talk, it showed me that social media can turn a simple mistake into some extremely negative – and once a significant amount of people agree with this option and publicly express their opinions about this, it is very hard for others to turn the situation around. For example, once thousands of people had seen Justine Sacco’s trending tweet, there were thousands of opinions on the matter and even if others tried to support Justine in any way they’d be attacked by others over the social media platform. It is clear that nowadays everyone wants to hear the same thing – or just what they personally want to hear – and if they don’t they will happily upset, offend etc. these users all behind their computer screens.

    In addition, I believed that the use official media was brilliant for communicating to others, whether they are close by or far away. However, after watching Sherry Turkle’s TED talk, my opinion quickly changed. Yes, social media has completely changed the way people communicate and help people stay connected; but it has also changed the way we communicate in real life. Many people now, especially the younger generations, do not know how to have proper conversations in real life due to being used to doing it over social media and on technology instead. This has changed and negatively impacted the way people act and cope with real life situations.

    As I am a social media myself, I see the need in receiving all of the likes and comments and am not used to a life without these platforms. However, I can clearly see how it has positively and negatively impacted on lives all around the world. It has improved communications around the world but had worsened the way we actually talk to people. Social media has also released a kind of hatred into peoples lives that wasn’t thought possible before the creation of social media platforms.


  15. Charlotte Evans

    After watching both of these videos, I now understand the true reality of social media. I understand and have seen the topics brought up and may have also been apart of similar circumstances. These videos have made me realise how caught up you can get in the world of social media and how it can make you unaware of the danger it may bring. Has social media changed the way in which we communicate for the better? Well, it all depends on the person.

    Social media is a powerful tool. You can get engrossed into the world of the internet but be oblivious to what the consequences may be. Jon Ronson has a great example of this. People can forget about other people’s feelings and how it might affect someone. People can also misinterpret what someone is saying and it may have not been what they originally intended. This can cause unnecessary negativity which can cause people to say unpleasant comments they may not necessarily say in real life. Hthis is an example of the power of social media.

    However, the world of social media is so much more then negativity. Meeting new people, reuniting with friends and family, etc. I use social media to contact friends from all around the world. I love having that social interaction with people without needing to take the time to visit them. I check my phone the minute I wake up until the time I go to sleep. Social media has become a part of my daily routine. I couldn’t imagine a life without it. Although social media has its negatives, it has improved and reinvented the way we socialise.


  16. Emilia Gatt

    Social media enables the communication between people in society that may normally feel isolated and cut off from their immediate community. Having access to these communities helps people know that there are many other people like them who are going through the same struggles; they aren’t alone. However, I also believe social media, and the way we communicate through it can be damaging as we are constantly forced to compare ourselves to the millions of people online. But it does enable people to finally be heard on the same level as any other person, irrespective of popularity and power in the ‘real world’.

    Ronson identifies this idea of online communities, and ordinary people being given a ‘voice’ through these platforms, but from my perspective he chooses to focus on the negatives of social media. He describes this idea that we are anonymous online and that perhaps this can lead us to be more destructive as we don’t know the people we victimise. In a way social media allows online bullying to happen guilt-free as we don’t have to face that person. He explores the issue of a statement being misinterpreted, and in the case of Sacco, how this can lead to a public shaming – which is where these aforementioned communities are dangerous.

    Turkle acknowledges straight away that there can be positives to communicating on social media. But what’s interesting is that she explores the notion of social media leaving us feeling isolated, even with access to this vast community of people. We begin to rely on these messages that boost our mood, and the constant checking of phones becomes our security blanket, so much so that we avoid real life contact and communication in favour of hiding behind a phone screen. She seems to highlight throughout her talk is our ‘want’ to call someone, evolving into a ‘need’ to text – highlighting our growing dependency on social media.


  17. Jamie Fenton

    Before I watched these two TED Talk videos social media to me was just a platform where everybody would keep in contact and share things they want other people to see and promote themselfs. It is after these two videos that I now realise how destroying social media can be to someone’s everyday life and the effects it can have on a person as the world turns against them. It is easy for us to misinterpret what a tweet or post is saying as we don’t know the context of how or why that person decided to post or tweet what they did.

    In the Jon Ronson video he displayed how easy it was for the world to turn on a singular person and make the target seem evil for a simple mistake. Once the story had become popular many people decided to express there feelings and opinions. This lead to Justine receving no support from anyone. Which meant anyone that tried to defend her was also being shamed. This shows that everyone wants to read and hear the samething or people are afraid to stand up as they will get shamed for standing up for someone who people think has done wrong and go against the mainstream of people.

    In Shery Turkle’s video she describes in detail how we as humans are using social media in the wrong way. Sherry talked about how we are loosing the art of conversation due to other means of connection. An example of this was an 18 year old boy that told her he wanted to “learn to have a conversation”. This shows change happening because the younger generations are texting which allows them to “edit, delete what we say” which then gives us the feeling that the receiver is empathising and connecting with us when in reality there not and we are isolating are self’s and becoming more dependant on technology.

    Finally as a young person and a social media user myself i belive that social media is a positive thing as long as its used correctly and responsibly by the user. It has allowed us so many great positive possibilitys but at the same time so many bad possibilities and isolation and shaming are only a few. Social media is apart of my regular life as i connect with freinds and family threw it and it would be hard for me to connect to thedse people without social media.


  18. Mansi Sudra

    Social media. We use social media every day, it has become embedded into our everyday lives, a necessity to do so; whether it is to check Instagram, to check the news to keep updated with current affairs, replying to an email or text. Whatever it may be we can all admittedly put our hands up and confirm we use social media. However can we all undeniably put our hands up and say we use social media positively and appropriately?
    Before watching both TED talks, and being an active and daily user of social media it was fair to say my views were biased. I believed that the platforms were there to provide people, to discuss and voice their own opinions, to narrate their own judgements, and for others to share and relate to one another. To feel connected. To not feel alone. However my thoughts and attitude towards this matter has now changed. I believe that we as a society use social media in a positive way, however a seen in Jon Ronson’s TED talk, many people misuse their power and privileges to have a negative influence on peoples lives, rather than for the better. We find ourselves so engrossed in random people lives, that we have found on social media; however one simple tweet, 180 characters is all it take for a miscommunicated “joke” to spiral out of control. These random people now have all the power to dismantle and crush your whole world.
    We live in a world where as technology is developing, so our lives are. Where sending a text is equivalent to knocking on someone’s door and speaking to them face to face. Social media has transformed some of us, however I am unaware in what way now; as we as a society are finding extreme difficulty to start a conversation with someone. It has had an immense impact on the way we communicate. On the other hand social media has bought us so many amazing things, we are able to communicate and stay in touch with family and friends from all over the world, where it is not as easy to knock on their door and have a chat. What made a significant impact on me was that we use social media to disguise our real lives, into editing and deleting whenever we like. We can prepare and plan out what we say, only post pictures which represent our best lives. It is equally as important to gain the “desired” and “significant” amount of likes and comments. For us to feel connected and relevant in todays society. So now in this present day and age, where people are finding it difficult to start a conversation, to be obsessed with numbers, glued to our phones, I can only imagine what the future will bring.


  19. Ellie Beeby

    I believe that after watching both of these videos it has made me realise so many different interpretations with the use of social media. It is positive in the way that people can talk to others and communicate so easily. However, It is negative in the way that it draws people in and they don’t realise how anti-social they are becoming in the real world and when having a conversation becomes difficult as there is little time in thinking and there is no delete button. Furthermore, I now believe that people can become so engrossed within social media and that they are unaware of the danger and uproar it can cause.
    Jon Ronson explores this and demonstrates how other peoples feelings are affected in a pessimistic way and usually people are guilt free of what it might do to others.
    Turkle does explore the positives of social media, however she highlights the fact that people are becoming more and more attached to the internet and social media and their phones in general. People struggle to leave the house without and mobile phone glued to their side. Turkle highlights the fact that accessories such as Siri are becoming ‘like people’s best friends’ and they are more comfortable with talking to their phones rather than actual contact with people. She says that it is because people know that Siri will always be there to listen when people in the real world may not be.
    Overall. I believe that social media demonstrates a lot more negatives than it does positives.


  20. Jenna Moore

    In recent years, social media has grown to be a huge part of everyone’s lives and as a result, there is bound to be a variety of consequences. It isn’t such a black and white issue as social media has had a wholly bad impact or wholly good one, or it has solely improved communication or worsened it. There is a range of advantages and disadvantages to it and before watching the talks I was firmly under the impression that the many benefits outweighed the negatives. Even though growing up I was always told there were many dangers and negative aspects to social media, it always seemed to be a much more positive space that was really useful for communicating with people you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to meet and becoming more aware of global issues all over the world. Having never been directly at the receiving end of a mob of negative comments like Jon Ronson discussed in his TED talk, it is easy to be oblivious to the incredibly damaging effects social media has had on many people and can make us lose touch with real people as Sherry Turkle talked about.

    Social media makes it alarmingly easy to lose touch with how real people work as everyone is constantly trying to present the best versions of themselves online. Real people make mistakes, they say things in real conversations that they can’t just delete or edit like they can online and as a result, the way people act on social media isn’t an accurate reflection of how they act in real life. If someone posts something that someone else doesn’t agree with online, they feel it’s easier to post hate comments and threats because they lack empathy for the other person as online they aren’t a real, flawed human being like they would be in real life, they are just a profile and it’s so easy not to think about the person behind that screen who has to take the psychological damage of all those hateful comments.

    Overall, I think whilst social media has allowed communication on a vast scale unlike anything we have seen before, the type of communication has worsened with how easy it has become to hate, threaten, and pressurise people over social media.


  21. Natasha lee

    Both TED talks highlight the negative side of social media; however, there is a positive side to social media as well.

    The obvious benefit is being able to keep in contact with friends and family who don’t live nearby. There is also a more overlooked benefit in that you can find a community. We can often grow up and live in a small area our whole lives where we adopt the views of those around us. Online we can find people like us and can create change in the real world. There is a community for everyone online; whether that be talking about your tv interests to the more significant movements such as body positivity, me too and the acceptance of all sexuality’s and genders within gay pride.

    However, as Jon Ronson said people will also find communities in hating on someone and tearing apart their career which can lead to their whole life being in pieces under the name of ‘social justice’. Often, people won’t have checked their information and created their opinions based on other’s twisted words rather than their own ideas from a balanced source. These cases show how toxic social media can because millions of people can attack very quickly. This is only possible because of social media. There is a more open communication which means people say things they wouldn’t normally say and is often less efficient communication as it’s negative and hateful rather than constructive and careful as people tend to be in face to face conversations.

    Shery Turkle talked about how we have an increasing dependency on our technology and how it is replacing real-life interaction. We often use our phones as safety blankets in unfamiliar settings so we can look busy and unapproachable. This has lead to everyone living in a world full of ’perfect’ lives when it is actually a highlight reel. We have become attached to the idea of living our perfect life rather than real world conversations. This has meant many people have lost social skills in the real world and communicate less effectively than people who don’t use social media very often.

    Overall, there is positives and negatives to using social media because it has made our lives easier. Instead of writing a letter, we can now pick up our phone and send a text instantly but social media had also allowed us to be hateful to people without thinking about it as we turn to a virtual world and away from the real world.


  22. Molly Habbershaw

    On one hand, for me, social media has made me become much more educated on current, important affairs in the world. It also offers a platform to be able to communicate with others and to express pride, positivity and awareness. It allows us to communicate with people that have common interests with us and that can be a very positive thing. A more obvious point is the benefit of it giving us the ability to keep in touch with people such as friends or family by something as small as just a short text.
    Ronson discussed the effects of online shaming and it made me realise even more that social media can be very toxic at times. When I saw the tweet that Sacco made, I was disgusted. However, as Ronson continued to elaborate on the situation I started to see it in a different light and surprisingly felt a sense of empathy. For one tweet that she probably didn’t think twice about before her flight, her career was ruined. Not excusing Sacco’s tweet, it makes me question whether the people expressing such hate online are just as bad- or even worse and it scares me the way some people choose to communicate online.

    I agreed very much with Turkle in her TED talk that people are getting so used to texting that they prefer it to physical conversation. In some ways, this could be causing damage to younger people especially, because conversations are seeming more complex and intimidating. This links to the ‘Goldilocks effect’ that Turkle mentioned. By texting and using social media, you can ensure that everything you say is just right before you hit send. Therefore in some ways, social media is making us less confident in actual conversations and many people much prefer talking digitally where less mistakes can be made. You could argue that this is making people more lazy or intimidated by verbal communication but on the other hand, if we have the privilege of using social media, maybe it’s not a negative thing that it’s how we decide to communicate.

    Overall I think that social media has many positive and negative aspects to it- just like most things. In my opinion, the positives outweigh the negatives. However, I wouldn’t agree that social media has positively changed the way we communicate in person for many of us. Social media is a positive thing as long as people use it in the right way.


  23. Sarah Aiken

    I believe that the way we communicate has completely changed. It has got to have changed as we are now in a world where we are connected to everything that we want and we can know about something that happens across the world in an instant. This is bound to change how we as a society communicate and how we react to new situations as we are able to know and understand facts in so much more depth than our ancestors.

    This change to our society should be a good one and should help us communicate and help others for the better. To contradict this, Ronson pointed out we direct this new found power to crow over others as we claim superiority because we seemingly haven’t made the mistake of putting our errors and misjudgements on the internet. In Sacoo’s situation, her tweet was misunderstood and this misjudgement circulated the internet and the whole social media bubble was discussing her misunderstood tweet. Today’s social media allows for any communication to take place; positive or negative. Ronson does, however, touch on how social media does give a voice to the voiceless and is able to unite people in communicating about issues they relate to each other about. This is a positive aspect on how social media can change how we communicate.

    Turkle, on the other hand, talks about how social media has become the ‘unempathetic’ life support as people are unable to live normally without it. One boy even wanted to ‘learn to have a conversation’ as he had grown up so involved with social media that he was unable to talk face to face with other people. Turkle talks about how people want to be ‘together but also elsewhere’. How people want to communicate with others but only at certain times and not when it gets tough or difficult, then people can escaspe to the land of idealism that is social media.

    Finally, I want to touch on how Ronson called social media a ‘mutual approval machine’. This to me shows how we as humans all crave approval and how social media creates the perfect platform for this approval to be granted. This changes the way in which we communicate online as we only show and talk about the things that gain us this wanted approval. This creates a platform that is fake but most of all shows “fakeness” off as a good thing. This is why I can not say that the impact that social media has had on communication has been a positive one, it has some positive aspects but overall the negatives drown the positives out, the way we drowned all hope in Sacoo’s life and the others that we have affected just like her.


  24. Kian Burrell

    From personal experience, social media has contributed largely in various situations in a positive way, from keeping in touch with people on the other side of the world, to arranging meetups with friends from around the corner. Very rarely have I ever had a negative experience online, therefore, before listening to the TED talks, the negative effects of social media have not been something that I have found myself reflecting on often. However, the issues brought into view within each of the videos have resonated with other stories that I have read and heard; these are not uncommon.
    Ronson explored how social media can cause damage to the lives of other people. In his example, the group hatred stemmed purely from a misinterpreted joke, which I find to be extremely unfortunate. It also shows how something that was posted on a small-scale account can very quickly turn into a trending topic. With the hatred attached to the person in Ronson’s example, this shows how brutal an online misunderstanding can turn out to be.
    Turkle explored how an increased use of technology in communication can lead to a lack of communicative skill among the younger generations especially. This is something that I have personally experienced among friends and family; the dinner table often experiencing more texting than conversing. However, she also says how in certain circumstances a text from a loved one can be a special gesture. Personally, I agree with both sides of Turkle’s argument as I have experienced both the awkwardness of a lack of conversation and the feeling of happiness when receiving a long-awaited message.
    Overall, the TED talks have made me realise that social media is not a good thing for all parties involved, even though it can seem like the best thing since sliced bread at certain times. I think that social media is one of the most powerful weapons that we possess, and it is down to us to choose whether to use it for better or for worse.


  25. stanley bryan

    Before watching these two ted talks i was not very aware of the impacts that can be caused by the use of social media. Now since having watched them i am more mindful of what social media can do to peoples lives and the ways in which we communicate with one another.

    In John Ronson’s talk he adresses how the use of twitter and other social platforms can have negative impacts on people in the real world. He uses the example of Johna Leara to present the impacts of comments posted on social media. Leara had been caught plaugurising and faking quotes, in an attempt to recifiy his mistakes he delivered an apology speech, during this speech there was a live stream from a twitter comments page playing, these comments included “not proven he is capable of shame” and “just a fricking sociopath”, these comments both sucessfully dehumanise Leara from the audience which reduces the impact of his speech as people watching see him as someone who is not truly feeling human emotion. Ronson also uses the example of justine sacco who made a comment on twitter which was reaced to in a somewhat explosive manner. The comment was “Going to Africa hope i don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”. This comment was meant as a joke about living in a life of privilege, but was taken very badly and meant that Sacco was insulted and threatened on twitter, ruining her life.

    In Sherry Turkle’s talk she adresses how the use of social media reduces the amount of time we spend in the real world, she presents the idea of living in a world where connection is out over communication and how this means that younger people do not know how to properly converse with one another.


  26. Christina sayers

    Before starting , it is to be known that my opinion of social media and it’s effects are to be biased given that , specifically my generation , has become quite dependent on its usage for our everyday lives. We use it for communication, work and relaying most of our life’s in a way we deem necessary. In the eyes of our parents however they would say that it is a ‘ silly thing that is misused and the root cause of most of problems young people experience’. They aren’t wrong.
    I believe that social media has been revolutionary in the way in which we are now able to communicate; it creates pathways and opportunities that weren’t necessarily available before its creation. An example of this could be its use in the process of globalisation , a business is now able to use social platforms to communicate its proposals and other such information across the business from one continent to another within a couple of seconds. However , there is a downside to this new technology. It creates a mask for people have have malicious intentions or simply do not have the courage to go through with any issue they have in person. As a result of this things like “ internet trolls “ and “cyber bullying” has been introduced and is one of the largest causes of suicide, depression and other such mental illnesses that effect majority of young people today. It is misused and instead of using it for broadcasting activities and entertainment it is now used for negative spread of opinions which results in negative outcomes. As people we choose what the internet will be and currently we are not using it for the best of its capability. Our data is threatened by trolls and viruses and the companies who manufacture our hand held devices are ‘ keeping secrets ‘ and storing our data without permission, this is not what we set out to do.
    In conclusion I think that overall the internet could be so much more and do so much more for us as a collective worldwide, we just need to move past all of the negativity and move ahead globally to utilise each aspect in a healthy and beneficial way


  27. Libby Headey

    Prior to watching the two TED talks, I had a much more positive view upon social media because of the way it allows us to communicate across a global scale in order to stay in touch with people who live far away. This means that we, as a community, are able to stay connected and interact with whoever whenever we may wish. However, I am also aware of the darker side of social media and the mental affects this may have on many people through different reasons concerning cyber bullying, the amount of attention posts receive etc and the two TED talks made this even more apparent.

    Jon Ronson’s TED talk focuses on how social media allows people to express their opinions and beliefs by giving them a digital platform where “voiceless people realise they have a voice” which in turn meant that that the hierarchy was being levelled out as people would listen to anyone with a strong opinion. This can be viewed as both positive and negative, however Ronson’s talk brings our attention to Justine Sacco who made a terrible mistake which he ridicules throughout in order to lightly warn the audience of the many dangers of misusing the privilege of the digital platform. He expresses the way in which this had a life changing impact on Sacco’s life as trolls started to personally attack her because of one careless, insensitive tweet which she will now regret for the rest of her life. This made me reflect upon the power social media has on us as a community as it went from people light heartedly connecting through their shared shameful secrets to something a lot darker which today has the potential to ruin people’s lives.

    In addition, Sherry Turkle’s TED talk is based off of the idea of the “Goldilocks effect” and how technology is pushing communities away instead of bringing them together through the “illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship”. She ends her talk with the impact this is having on modern society and how people struggle to form everyday conversations as they are so used to staring at their screens, planning their replies. This shows how negative social media can be on mental health and the way we view ourselves through the amount of attention we’re getting online which clearly shows how dependant we are as a community on our devices as they give us a sense of worth and well being.


  28. Ishan Briah

    After viewing these TED talks videos, I have gained alternate interpretations on the use of social media within this generation. Social media provides an illusion which allows individuals to express their feelings and emotions. As we found from Justine Sacco’s tweet the expression of emotions and feelings input by the user was drawn back by the misunderstanding behind the reality/ reason for the action taken over social media. Additionally, this potential joke resulted in hate comments back which have taken her potential joke seriously. She could have updated her privacy settings to restrict the amount of people to view her tweet.
    The increased exposure to the younger generation results in decreased face to face communication between them. Additionally, they may gain moments of jealousy as only the good sides are presented almost seeing the world through “rose-coloured” glasses.
    Social media allows us to meet new people with ease, which may spark future relationships. However, this could be dangerous or influence into immoral doings. Alternatively, social media may create insecurities into young people’s lives, as nowadays their accounts are used to judge their approval of existence to their peers (e.g number of likes, followers and comments). Social media can also be found to be addictive with the ideology of missing out on certain posts or messages.

    In conclusion, social media can be good in the aspect of possibly creating new relationships, promoting products/businesses and gain other views on particular subjects. However social media has been the leading cause to onset many health problems due to isolation and unemployment. The drawback of unemployment could be partially minimised with the use of privacy settings and allowing the individuals posts to be found by their selected followers. However, is it right to judge a potential employee based off their social media presence or should only their professional history be taken into account (e.g. CV information)?


  29. Ishan Briah

    After viewing these TED talks videos, I have gained alternate interpretations on the use of social media within this generation. Social media provides an illusion which allows individuals to express their feelings and emotions. As we found from Justine Sacco’s tweet the expression of emotions and feelings input by user was drawn back by the misunderstanding behind the reality/ reason for the action taken over social media. Additionally, this potential joke resulted in hate comments back which have taken her potential joke seriously. She could have updated her privacy settings to restrict the amount of people to view her tweet.
    The increased exposure to the younger generation results in decreased face to face communication between them. Additionally, they may gain moments of jealousy as only the good sides are presented almost seeing the world through “rose-coloured” glasses.
    Social media allows us to meet new people with ease, which may spark future relationships. However, this could be dangerous or influence into immoral doings. Alternatively, social media may create insecurities into young people’s lives, as nowadays their accounts are used to judge their approval of existence to their peers (e.g number of likes, followers and comments). Social media can also be found to be addictive with the ideology of missing out on certain posts or messages.

    In conclusion, social media can be good in the aspect of possibly creating new relationships, promoting products/businesses and gain other views on particular subjects. However social media has been the leading cause to onset many health problems due to isolation and unemployment. The drawback of unemployment could be partially minimised with the use of privacy settings and allowing the individuals posts to be found by their selected followers. However, is it right to judge a potential employee based off their social media presence or should only their professional history be taken into account (e.g. CV information)?


  30. Katie Jones

    Personally, I believe that the way in which technology has changed our lives is positive yet negative. Jon Ronson and Sherry Turkle both discussed ways in which technology and social media effects our lives in a negative way. However, I believe that social media and today’s technology has also affected our lives in a positive way as well. Therefore, leaving me feeling neutral about the topic.
    I catch myself frequently gazing at my phone anticipating some interaction to show up on the screen. Therefore, I cannot say that our communication skills with each other have improved. For me I find that I rarely have a face-to-face conversation with someone without a phone being involved and this is consistent within the younger generations. Furthermore, it is well known that technology is a very crucial part to communication, whether it be a text, email or even a like on a post. Nowadays people use technology as a form of validation, just as Jon Ronson explains.
    Social media is known for its success in giving that wanted validation, for many people this can be as little as a follow or a retweet. Social media has become a platform to connect with others around the world and a new job environment. Much like Sherry Turkle said, social media has become a place where you can be who you wish you were. Nonetheless social media also has its many downfalls such as encouraging negative thoughts towards others. Many people use social media to say what they want without gaining any backlash. This can be shown through the numerous cases of online bullying, Jon Ronson uses Justine Sacco as an example. Her life was completely ruined due to an impetuous tweet. Even though I agree that the tweet made was rude and inconsiderate I believe that Justine was poorly treated due to the habit of social media becoming uncontrollable and things being twisted.
    In conclusion I agree with the points made by both Jon Ronson and Sherry Turkle, however I find that technology and social media may always have its downfalls but will still be a place for new opportunities and self-validation.


  31. Hannah Davies

    The impact of social media has been made more apparent as technology has developed and the way in which we communicate has grown and changed. We now have access to information from all over the world and at the click of a single button we can find out what’s happening in any country at any time across the globe – something that was very far out of our reach just a few decades ago. Social media is very ahead of its time and in our generation we can no longer keep up with the increasing rate of change – it overwhelms us and therefore it can be misused and easily abused. The pace of change is accelerating and social media can now be used in ways to shape politics, business, world culture, education, careers, innovation, and so much more.

    Not only has social media changed the speed in which we communicate, but also the actual words we say to each other – trying to fit what we want to say in as little characters as possible. It could therefore be debated that social media restricts our thoughts and opinions to a certain extent – we may not be able to say all that we want to in the space provided on media platforms. On the other hand, this could be argued against by suggesting that these word limits save and free up time.

    Whilst social media can be viewed negatively because it can create such destruction and upset globally, it must equally be viewed in a positive light as it has been the founding footsteps of the world as we gratefully know it today. Thanks to social media platforms, the level of our education is heightened and we are lucky enough to have instant access to worldwide information.


  32. Tom Anderson

    The question as to whether Social Media has positively changed how we as people communicate seems to have a tangible, definite answer – Yes. On the surface, Social Media seemingly has revolutionized how people can connect, communicate, maintain and sometimes even construct relationships. You can send e-mails for work, send messages to people on the other side of the world, for them to respond in seconds, spread awareness for charities and people in need on platforms such as twitter that allow others to become educated on ongoing issues that individual people or society may possess at that given time. People can start a Go – fund me page to help to raise money to be able to afford expensive treatment for diseases, that without the donations of others who gained knowledge of their situation via. The link to the page being shared on social media, they would’ve had to go without the treatment, which may be potentially fatal. This is a prime example of the good that social media can do.

    However, if you look beneath the surface, you will find that social media has the potential to completely ruin lives. In the TED Talk by Jon Ronson, he discusses how a PR woman called Justine Sacco, who tweeted a that proclaimed that she hoped she didn’t get AIDS while traveling to Africa, followed up by the punchline ‘Just kidding. I’m white!’. There was a huge outcry on social media about this tweet with people calling her profound names and calling for her to be sacked. Companies tried to profit off of this popularity, which to me, seems equally as insensitive as the joke itself. She lost her job. She was crushed. All from just one tweet, that she later stated was to make fun at the bubble that she believed America and the West seem to live in when it comes to seeing what happens in the third world. The joke was not intended to be racist or degrading to anyone who had AIDS or came from Africa. It was supposed to do the opposite, it was supposed to make fun of the blindness and obliviousness of the West. This to me highlights one of the main issues with communication via. Social media – there is no context or voice. When someone speaks to you face to face, you can tell that they’re making a joke by their tone of voice, facial expression and the way they build-up to the punchline of the joke. However, a joke on twitter, which heavily restricts the number of characters that can be used in every tweet, is just electronic words on a screen. No expression, no context, no tone. I’m sure that everyone has experienced this type of situation on social media themselves. You may send a message that is supposed to be satirical, however, the receiver of the text may not realize this and instead, see the message as rude. This, added with the conclusion that Jon comes to in the talk: that people believe it is their duty to be ‘Social Justice Warriors’, whose desire in trying to seem compassionate towards those who have suffer AIDS in Africa, is what lead them to partake in the unequivocally cathartic and uncompassionate act of attempting to ruin Justine’s life over a joke.

    In the second TED Talk, Sherry Turkle highlights her view that we as a society have become way too dependent and reliant on social media and technology. She discusses how we have all become too accustomed to communication in a controlled environment, where we can control when we reply, where we can edit and delete what we want to say before we send it. I would argue that this all dilutes the authenticity of communication and takes away the personal and intimate connections that can be achieved through normal, face to face dialogue. It gives you a chance to articulate your thoughts on what was previously said and reply in a cool and calm manner, whereas in a heated, face to face conversation does not give you this luxury and everything that is said is from the heart, not the brain.

    There is no doubt that Social Media has changed how we as a society communicate – whether that be for the better or worse, I am not fully sure as it has indubitably revolutionized how we communicate and has been an unquestionable catalyst in developing the society that we live in today. However, the single thing that resonated with me the most from the two TED Talks was the question: is this society that social media helped to shape, one we want to live in? Where people get their lives ruined by a witchhunt on twitter for making a joke? One where people lack real-life, face-to-face communication skills and sit behind a screen sending fake messages?


  33. Katie Chaplin

    Social media has enabled wider communication between millions of people; making it both easier and accessible – however the extent of social medias impact is hugely underestimated.
    Social media has allowed people who felt powerless to discover their own voice allowing them to feel equal and valued within society. However, this privilege to be able to freely and publicly share your opinion on any situation has been misused by many and used as a weapon to shame people.
    The TED Talk by Jon Ronson highlights a controversial tweet by Justine Sacco, appearing she wanted to share her thoughts in order to make people laugh. Soon, it came to light that this was a mistake and she didn’t expect the response she received. People communicate on social media with a lack of consideration of the consequences to their voice. This is a perfect example of when communicating online how something is meant to sound and how it is perceived can be totally different.
    The growth and development of technology has presented our world with never-ending opportunities. This has made both positive and negative communications on social media familiar within our society, building false expectations of the way we should behave online.
    It’s true social media has positively changed the way in which we communicate, but it’s not necessarily for the better because hate and disrespect are still vividly apparent.


  34. Meg Chambers

    In modern society we are highly influenced by social media, communicating with each other has become more and more accessible, due to the use of social media apps allowing us to send messages, make calls and keep in contact with each other. The use of technology and social media has been integrated into our daily routines and continues to do so as the years go on, perhaps as a result of our generation growing up with technology and being conditioned into thinking that using social media is the social norm.

    In the context of self-expression, I believe that social media given individuals the impression that things that are said behind a screen will have less of an impact than what they would if they were to be said in real life. One of the topics Jon Ronson discussed in their TED talk was shaming online, and the concept of deliberately trying to ruin somebody’s career and life for things they have done is the past is horrific, as it strips people of the right to change, assuming their past will be their future. However, there are many unsuccessful attempts in ‘cancelling’ people, mainly celebrities, through social media. I think the concept of uniting together to try and sabotage somebody’s career, is both toxic and useless. Most of the people who have been ‘cancelled’ still have support from biased fans, and so the efforts and lengths that some go through to try and end their careers is futile, however I believe this behaviour is still extremely damaging to the people who it is targeted towards. Overall, I believe individuals have a profound confidence in sharing their negative thoughts on social media, and it can be damaging to others.

    The ways in which we communicate have been strongly adapted by social media and technology. As a society who utilise their devices and social media all the time, when faced with real life interaction, many people feel uncomfortable and anxious. I believe this is mainly since you can’t plan or control what you are going to say, whereas with texting and messaging, we can present ourselves as we choose. Perhaps people are obsessed with their devices because they can manipulate how they are perceived – yet when communicating in person it is a lot harder to keep up the act.


  35. Natalie Southwell

    How we communicate now has changed vastly since technology became a part of our daily routine. Both TedTalks highlight mainly negative impacts of technology to our society and although I strongly agree that there definitely are negative aspects to it, I also believe that there are many positives too. Like Sherry Tuckle said, by using technology to communicate instead of having face to face conversations we become more and more antisocial in the real world.
    Social media allows us to choose who to speak to as well as when to speak to them, which makes it an unrealistic example of how we communicate in the real world. We should have to face real life situations in current time and not have time to think about what to say or make adjustments to it since it’s an inaccurate representation of how we would normally converse with one another. Adding to this, the messages we send or share online through websites like Twitter don’t include any sort of tone or emotion, meaning that any message can rightfully be seen in a different manner as to how the person wrote it.
    Likes, follows, comments and retweets determine who you are and these buttons give the public the power and a voice that they may have not had before. Some people take advantage of this and use social media as a weapon to target and attack others by accepting or declining one’s thoughts or feelings, not knowing that too many voices at once can blow up. I heavily believe that the positives of social media are overlooked since the negatives can seem very extreme; however the positives have impacted our lives significantly and have made connections and communications easier than before.


  36. Lauren Smith

    From watching both TED talks it is clear that social media is widely perceived as being a negative platform for those using it, however the value of rapid worldwide communication is often overseen. Social media allows a new and improved way of levelling out hierarchies, giving people more confidence to stand up for what they believe is right, allowing voiceless people to discover a voice, empowering various social movements to occur, and to be acknowledged worldwide in an attempt to improve the way in which we live.

    However pronounced online communication is, it still strips us of important real life conversations and interactions, instead we are able to edit and alter what we say, in an attempt to seem perfect rather than living in the moment and developing our social etiquette. Human relationships are too complex to be explored through social media, it makes getting to know someone more challenging and less natural.

    Another consequence of online communication, especially seen on twitter, is that something can easily be taken out of context or be perceived incorrectly, we have no way of establishing the users tone or expression; meaning that the purpose of the tweet is sometimes unknown. when this does happen, the negative side of social media is exposed, as normal people start attacking others, sometimes for the sake of their own pride. As Jon Ronson says, “Its our desire to be compassionate that leads us to this profoundly un compassionate act” people believe that they are allowed to destroy somebody for destroying somebody else, which then starts a vicious cycle.


  37. Daisy

    In society nowadays it is a necessity to be Involved In social media and present yourself as someone that we have always wanted to be. We become nervous to be judged and disliked and therefore is why communication on social media allows us to edit a conversation where we seem relatable and engaging. To say this has improved communication for the better would be a lie however it has allowed us to communicate universally and in a disappointing way become happy in the disguise that we have portrayed ourselves as online

    Arguably, following on from Jon Ronson’s TED talk communication on social media has become Severely negative. We believe that we have an automatic responsibility to state our opinion about a certain topic or event such as the Justine Sacco comment to which everyone responded negatively to in order to be seen as believing and saying what is found to be socially acceptable and correct . However what most people don’t understand is the idea that this doesn’t gain us friends or any status but just the reward of not being talked negatively about. Therefore just as Sherry Turkle stated we are still alone.

    However social media has played a major role in the lack of ability to produce conversations in the real world. We have become too used to relying on our social media persona , which seems to loudly voice every thought and opinion we may have however if they are encountered face to face we become worried yet again about judgement and being exposed for who we really are.


  38. Katie Frost

    Over decades of technological advancements, the development of social media and the ways in which we communicate have extensively grown. From being a choice to becoming a necessity, social media has grasped the attention of current and future generations and has become an obsessive need for communication. As a regular user of social media, it’s true that my opinion may be biased towards the positive impact social media has had. Not only does it allow us access to global news, educational tools and vast entertainment opportunities, social media also provides the globe’s largest platform of communication; it helps us to share ideas, business opportunities, personal content and so much more. However, after watching the two TED talks, I have become enlightened into recognizing how these powerful platforms have encouraged voiceless people to discover their voice, further allowing anybody to abuse their desire to illustrate false compassion and empathy towards current controversies.
    The first TED talk, delivered by Jon Ronson, highlights the radical deshaming people induce upon vulnerable beings that ‘misuse their privilege’. He presents an anecdote to illustrate how social media drives our naivety to the power behind our words, implying it’s difficult to recognize people’s true intentions behind a tweet, post or status update. Through Justine Sacco’s controversial tweet, that she perceived as a light joke, Jon Ronson elaborates how her life became ‘mangled’ as she was deemed evil, disgusting and racist, to the extent where she received rape threats. This highlights how social media platforms can dismantle lives due to dehumanizing responses from a misleading joke.
    Throughout the second TED talk, Sherry Turkle expresses how reliant our generation has become on social media. She demonstrates how we require these technologies to communicate, gain entertainment and to enrich our education – although insisting it’s not necessary. Sherry instigates that these platforms have gone from being an experiment to becoming a tool that most can’t function without. In my opinion, this portrays social media platforms as a lonesome, perhaps insecure place.
    Overall, I still believe social media has had a positive impact to some extent, however there is no hiding from the loathe and detest it carries alongside it.


  39. Millie James

    In my opinion social media has massively impacted the way we communicate both online and face to face. Social media has become a massive part of all our lives, our growing addiction has led to us dismissing how many hours we spend aimlessly scrolling through a never ending feed of posts. I believe social media has had both negative and positive impacts on our communication. As a regular user of several social medias I have been able to observe the role of social media in my life and the possible ways it may have affected my ability to communicate.
    In the TED talk led by Jon Ronson he discussed the way social media can allow us to form allegiance with many others on a global scale. This often provides us with a power humans have never had before, a right to a voice. A voice that can be heard by so many others. But since we have not experienced this ability to hold an international power in previous generations we need to learn how to positively use this power in order to help so many others.
    By being able to express all opinions and feelings either openly or anonymously could be a tool to building the confidence of the future generations. This can lead to an improvement in real life communications. If an individual felt anxious to express an opinion in a real life situation but their opinions are then accepted in their social media community they may feel more enabled to discuss their feelings in future face to face communications. Much like Sherry Turkle commented on how a simple message from her daughter felt very much like receiving a virtual hug social media and online communication can provide much comfort for so many.
    This ability for us to build up others on a mass scale can also have the opposite effect, we also now have acquired the ability to collectively abuse one person. We have a new weapon of mass destruction, and it’s open for everybody. In the wrong hands social media can quite literally be fatal. Huge numbers can come together to tear apart the life of one individual. The ability to become a new person, to start a new online life, or to be anonymous has given us an all new power. But some just can’t harness it appropriately. This abuse of power can ruin lives and strip individuals of wanting any life in the public sphere.
    In addition to this I believe social media is stripping children of vital capabilities to communicate in real life situations. Children can now communicate online from incredibly young ages. They aren’t learning and understanding how to hold a real conversation. In an online message we have no ability to use body language or expression to bring across the true meaning of what we are saying, this can lead to huge misunderstandings. Much like in the case of Justine Sacco whilst trying to make a joke mocking white privilege she didn’t realise the alternative interpretation of her tweet. This led to her whole life being torn part by an online army infuriated by her joke. With social media you are never making a comment directly to just one person with the ability to quickly explain, your posts can be shared or screenshotted only to be viewed by a world-wide audience.
    In conclusion, social media has had several impacts on the way we communicate both positively and negatively. It is up to us as individuals to chose how we can come together as an online community to harness this new power and this new weapon to better ourselves as individuals and as a world. There is no longer a limit on your outreach, so we must make sure we’re using this to our advantage and spreading positives messages.


  40. Charlotte Towe

    Society has suddenly shaped the young generation to revolve their lives around a small piece of technology. This has a larger impact than what many people understand. From a young age children are given the privilege to explore the world through social media, giving them the mind set that they’d prefer to ‘text each other’ rather than going outside and engaging in real life activities, leading to them growing up and finding it difficult to interact with others without the security of having a mobile phone at hand.

    Many people view having social media as an escape from the real world and to be whoever they want, leading to insecurities when dealing with real life situations. I find myself frequently looking at my phone to check for any interactions I’m missing out on, following from the TED talks from Sherry Tuckle about feeling lonely without the connection of a human being and their phone. Nowadays, people being away from their phone causes anxiety making people feel self-conscious about what they might be missing as they aren’t ‘up to date’ with the latest. Causing a distraction from the real word as they are being dragged into world of social media.

    People are starting to not care about what they are posting online as they are ‘hiding’ behind a screen they think it doesn’t matter. Justine Sacco as an example, her life dramatically changed due to one misunderstood tweet which lead to thousands of anonymous people judging her based on one sentence. Therefore, I believe social media is considered positive and negative when communicating with others around us.


  41. Tom Gibbons

    Both speeches, very eloquently, make some powerful points about how social media can be both of great advantage as well as great hindrance to the way in which we communicate with fellow members of our species.

    John Robson starts his speech by exploring how he believes social media has aided us by empowering ordinary people. I agree with him that social media has essentially given many once voiceless people a platform to stand up and speak about things they believe in. As a result of social media, normal people can now start campaigns and petitions to raise public awareness for issues that feel so passionate about. Through the simple click of a button anybody of any race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, political belief, socio-economic class or any other demographic can now articulate their beliefs to billions of people from any corner of the globe. This also drastically improves the efficiency of communication for people in these groups and organisations to organise large scale protests. Consequently, this impedes the tyranny that the political establishment and large multinationals have over working and middle class people as if they make any attempt to abuse their diminishing power or commit to anything unethical there could potentially be a huge public uproar. John Robson described this as the ‘democratisation of justice’.

    Despite this, some people would argue that social media has influenced the way in which we communicate in a very negative manor. This power that ordinary people now are so privileged to possess is very frequently used to send cruel and abrasive messages to others which fractures and erodes the sense of community that society once had before social media tarnished it. This potentially wonderful tool for enhancing communication is so often being used to make humans compete against each other over meaningless things such as likes and followers when really we should be collaborating to renovate communication between humans to a much pure and positive form.

    Another obstacle to constructive communication between humans on social media is that so often it is only negative actions which receive attention. All it takes is for one mindless and immature comment which may cause offence to others (such as Justine Sacco’s) for what seems like the entire world to unite against you. Why is it we can’t all take a look at what we are doing and unite in this fashion for a much more thoughtful cause than ravaging somebody’s life through the erroneous court of public opinion? Not only this but a lot of the time the people sending the hateful messages aren’t actually very troubled or offended by what has been said, they just want to hop on the band wagon of virtue signalling to seem ethical for the approval of other people who they will never come in to contact with again (mutual approval).

    As a result of all of this conversation is progressively having less and less significance and is developing more into something just to do for entertainment and improving our own personal image of popularity than actually being a thought provoking engagement. This is leading to many humans losing contact with themselves as they are confined in this fake bubble of their own egregious lies which they have brainwashed themselves into believing.

    Personally I love social media, as a sportsperson who competes at national and regional competitions it has allowed me to maintain contact (and even receive/give advice) with friends that I have made who live far away in distant parts of the country. As well as this it allows me to arrange meeting up with friends who live more locally, if it wasn’t for this I may never be able to communicate with some of them again so in this sense it has been of great advancement to my own communication to have access to social media. Despite this though I do believe we do need to think more about what we say online as a few brash posts are the only things obstructing social media from reaching its full potential as this great tool for enhancing communication.


  42. Saffron Bateman

    The common view of social media amongst young people is that it has improved communications with each other. They believe this because we can connect with people from around the world in an instant. However, I think that social media’s impact on how we communicate has been detrimental to the younger society.

    Social media has allowed us to hide behind a screen. We can send a post out into the world without thinking of its consequences. In his TED Talk, Jon Ronson mentioned Justine Sacco’s controversial tweet, intended as a joke to humour her 170 Twitter followers. This tweet went viral and Justine was the victim of online shaming from millions of trolls. People ridiculed Justine and tweeted abuse to her. Some of the horrifying comments made about Justine would never had been said to her face. Social media gives us the platform to post anything, often what we wouldn’t say in a face to face situation.

    A lot of the younger generation would rather go on social media than go out and engage in a real conversation. Sherry Turkle expressed in her TED Talk how this is affecting the youth’s social abilities in the real world. Turkle revealed how an 18-year-old boy admitted to her, “Someday, someday, but certainly not now, I would like to learn how to have a conversation”. Many millennials have become so reliant on communicating over text message that they haven’t developed face-to-face relationships.

    Overall, I think social networks have had a negative impact on how we communicate. Though technology has had some positive effects, such as helping raise awareness for important issues, it has caused serious problems for young people. Society relies too much on social media for communications.


  43. Jay Shergill

    Prior to watching either of the two Ted Talks my opinion social media’s impact on our social lives and communication with each other was unstable at best. Whilst I did believe that social media could be incredibly damaging to a person when mishandled, as well as creating and promoting obsessive and toxic lifestyles.

    In response to the first video by Jon Ronson and the damaging and disastrous effects of social media on individuals and their mistakes, the transformation of social media from being a place where people are open and honest to a place where people and their secrets are hunted and exposed is incredibly saddening. When Justine Sacco was “Witch Hunted” online after racially insensitive jokes were found by the greater online community it truly brought to light the incredibly destructive powers that the twitter, as well as online, community had, in response to what was then discovered to be a not purposefully racial joke. This ability that is held by social media to attack and destroy a person’s life based on a poorly executed joke is truly terrifying and, in my opinion, the truest form of bullying and viciousness that modern humanity is capable of.

    Responding to the second video by Sherry Turkle and the effect of social media and technology on human social skills, I found what she said to be truly accurate. Social Media and technology represent an opportunity for people to escape from their own lives into the world of Twitter and Instagram and snapchat etc. However, by partially removing themselves from their lives like this they may suffer from lack of or poor social skills. In my opinion, this problem of the internet having negative effects on a person’s real-life ability to communicate is an issue at the forefront of modern society.

    To conclude, despite all of the problems and issues that social media and technology does bring out in our lives, I believe that it itself is not malicious and when used properly can be an overwhelmingly positive experience.


  44. Amy Bedder

    As a teenager I only see the positive outcomes of social media and its impact on my communication, due to the amount of time I spend on social media it is evident to me the effect it has on my life. Like many teenagers I use social media as a key aspect of my communication with friends and family. However, after watching the TED talks, I see that social media has a deeper effect on our communication and on our lives than we realise.

    In the Jon Ronson TED talk he calls Twitter a ‘mutual approval machine’ Implying that no one has their own opinion but agrees with everyone else to fit in. An example Ronson uses in his talk is about a women named Justine Sacco who made a comment on twitter that people disagreed with, this led to her going viral and having thousands of people hating and trolling her. By shaming people Twitter uses feel a sense of involvement. This shows that on social media when people are anonymous, they can be rude and nasty with no consequence. This proves that social media has a massive impact on our communication and not for the better. Instead of using social media positively as a way to share and communicate with friends and family it is used negatively.

    The talk by Sherry Turkle provides a shamefully truthful insight into the world of social media. She talks about being ‘Connected, but alone’ which suggests many of us have lots of followers on social media but when we turn our phones off, we are alone. A key point she raised was when teenagers are together the majority of time we are on our phones. This shows that social media has a severely negative effect on our communication as the newer generation have little experience communicating face to face or in group conversations. As we are so used to texting or calling it creates an easy, stress free way of communication.

    To conclude, although at the touch of a button we can immediately communicate with anyone we want to which makes it so much easier to stay in contact with friends as we can communicate anywhere, anytime. The impact that is having on our real-world communication is damaging. So personally I think social media is a great way to communicate and gives us easy access to all our friends, when it comes to face to face communication we struggle to interact.


  45. nicole picton

    Social media. It’s a massive thing to us humans what would we do without it? It shapes and creates our perfect lives, well lives we wish we had. We look at people such as celebrities and try and be like them. Social media can take us to the darkest of places yet can help us explore the world and communicate with those thousands of miles away. Before watching these TED talks i had a more positive outlook on social media. As a teenager i spend most of my time on social media i scroll upon things that are good and bad which takes me to Jon Ronsons TED talk.
    Ronson discusses a certain comment placed on twitter, this comment was by Justine Sacco whose life got turned around after this. Trolls placed themselves on her feed, which takes me to the point that one comment on social media can make or break someone’s life. Ronson explains a conversation he had with Justine Sacco he asks her why she wrote the comment, she explains that she was showing how third world countries are overlooked. This shows how easily comments are misinterpreted. Ronson says ‘voiceless’ people realise they have a ‘voice’ this can be taken out of hand. So much power is held behind a screen once anonymous no one knows who you are. Ronson uses the word ‘dehumanise’ people can’t form sentences whithout having to think before they say. Sentences are well thought out before they are said.
    Sherry Turkles TED talk explains what she calls ‘The goldilocks effect’ this is how technology is pushing communities away not bringing us all together. She goes on to talk about how phones are used at the dinner table, in corporate meetings, and used to communicate in work places where we should go and talk to one another but we choose not too. This shows how we’re losing valuable important moments. Kids aren’t getting parents full attention phones are being put before children. A young boy asked to be taught how to have a conversation what does that tell you? Social media has destroyed our wellbeing, is stunting young lives social growth. Children are getting phones ,setting up social medias at such young ages. Turkle acknowledges that social medias can be used to do positive things if it is used in the right way.


  46. Adara Veasey

    Growing up in a younger generation within a society that has become so social media obsessed I believe that my views are biased towards the many positives that social media has rather than focusing on the many negative effects it also has.

    In the first TED video Jon Ronson speaks out about the negative effects social media has on peoples lives and how damaging this can be. However I strongly believe thet Jons argument proved that it is more the way people are using their media platforms that is causing such damage to individuals rather than social media itself. He speaks openly about the way people use their medias to attack and victimise people in ways that we wouldn’t face to face, this however isn’t a negative problem caused by instagram, twitter or Facebook themselves. These types of issues are caused by the people using such platforms. Although social media has given ‘keyboard warriors’ a chance to act in broad daylight and get away with it. In many other ways its helped several people, giving someone shy and quiet the chance to say something to someone without having to be face to face has made many situations easier for many individuals. People can express themselves as freely and as openly as they’d like, whether it be their most happiest thoughts and feelings or maybe even their deepest darkest thoughts and feelings. People in need of help can ask for it without having to feel the pressure of doing it face to face. Although some people exploit their social media powers , I believe the risk of having a few bad situations every now and again is definitely worth giving someone in need of help a chance to grow and find their voice, so in this case in my eyes the positives have outweighed the negatives.

    On the other hand in the second video Sherry Turkle speaks out about the negative effects social media and technology have had on not just our life styles but our ways and means of socialising. She explained that many people struggle to hold a real life day to day conversation due to the amount of times they spend on their phones messaging people whether that through direct message or snapchat etc. When texting we have adapt to the easier way of messaging: we shorten our words so they’re quicker to type, we don’t feel the need to reply straight away so we lose the natural flow of a everyday normal conversation and we even find ourselves saying things we’d never say in real life. When we go out to meet friends or even stay at home and watch tv we are consistently checking on our phones to see who we can speak to and what everyones up to. As a social media addict myself I can honestly put my hands up and admit that I too am guilty of constantly checking my phone. Until watching Sherrys video I had never truly thought into how bad this really is. In a room surrounded by my friends and my family and still spending a majority of my time on my phone is a very bad thing, this is something Id have never had known if it wasn’t for the TED video as I’ve never chosen to listen to the negative stigma surrounding social medias impact on life. However, after the eye opening talk performed by Sherry it is clear to both see and understand her point. Technology was made to help us keep in contact with those important people who were too far for us to speak to any other way.The sad thing is that now we ignore and struggle to conversate with the most important people around us whilst we spend forever on our phones speaking to people who live just minutes away from us. I don’t believe that technology and social media itself is negative, however, I do believe that its the mis using of the platforms that are creating the issue. People are over doing the online socialising and underdoing the real life socialising and something needs to change before things go to far.

    To conclude I personally feel it’d be fair to say that the over using and mis use of social media is the only part of it that is currently having a negative impact on the work. I do strongly believe that the power of social media will grow worse as the generations go on and that the lack of real life socialising may become a serious issue and cause issues within the younger generations when they’re surrounded by brand new technology.


  47. Paige

    Jon Ronson made many valid points throughout his speech. At the beginning of his speech he said that social media allows “voiceless people to have a voice” which is true. People don’t necessarily worry about what people think about you on social media as you can’t see their face and they can’t see yours. It gives people a chance to say their opinion. However, Jon mentioned the fact that social media is just a way to shame people, for example , justines ‘racist’ comment that she made on twitter.

    Justines comment looked like a non- intentional racist comment which has been blown out of proportion. However, in my opinion she shouldn’t have joked about a sensitive subject in a light hearted way. Jon stated that “whilst she slept, twitter took over her life” this shows how powerful the internet really is. Justine’s life changed from joking about places she’s flying to, to then receiving nasty comments and being fired.

    The comments on twitter had taken over her life that much that she used glasses to hide her identity as she had now been made to feel insecure.

    Some people may have genuinely been upset about the comment. However, most people only wanted to gain ‘social power’ therefore they followed the crowd.


  48. Jessica Jones

    As I am a teenager, I use social media often. Due to the amount of time I spend on it, I can say it has has had a big impact on my life. It has made me feel less alone and has opened different opportunities and ways to speak to people. However, social media in my opinion can be quite misleading and false, and can also have a negative impact on peoples lives. People only portray the best side of themselves on social media and we don’t see the bad or the negative.

    In Jon Ronson’s talk, he spoke about how online shaming can spin out of control and how something that has positive intentions or something that was thought to be innocent can have negative outcomes, and be seen differently among other people. I believe it is easy to speak out on social media as you are behind a screen. People don’t think about how their message could be interpreted by other people who see it. In my opinion social media is one big platform full of people who are very different and have different opinions so people are going to agree and some are not, this could cause a lot of debate and conflict.

    In Sherry Turkle’s talk, she spoke about how we use our phones to help us feel less alone, but also how we can become addicted and engulfed in our devices. I believe people only post the best things that happen to them, or even the picture they look the best in, however people don’t see the reality or the bad versions of them which makes other people believe their lives are seen as perfect and they have no flaws. This is why I think social media can be false and misleading. It is almost like people create their best lives on social media and trick other people into thinking their life isn’t good enough.

    In conclusion, these TED talks have made me see the negatives of social media, when before I only really saw the positives. It has made me understand how people could be one person on social media and completely different in real life, and how misleading it can be. It has also shown me that social media is not the be all and end all. There are so many other exciting things we could be doing instead!.


  49. Chloe Kazakevics

    After watching both TED talks, it is effectively highlighted that social media brings out both the worst but also the more confident sides of people. Social media has become a huge part of people’s lives over the recent years and it has become apparent that by the age of 12, it is almost certain that you have your own social media platform. From personal experience, it is often that you are expected to look a certain way to be able to create an impact on society and there is always the question of whether I look good enough or maybe certain people won`t like this. Even through growing up, it was always easier to just agree with people rather than saying what you honestly believe.

    Jon Ronson explores this idea of just following along with everyone else’s opinions when elaborating on Justine Sacco`s racist comment. When responding to this, the most frequent comments were negative towards Justine and Ronson made it clear that people who perhaps believed that she didn’t do anything wrong were too shy to stand up because they were worried about also being taken down. Today, this happens on a regular basis as people do not want to be anything but normal.

    In Shelly Turkle`s TED talk, the focus is on how people from the younger generation would prefer a virtual conversation compared to going out to see someone. She mentions comments such as `time to talk` and `always being connected makes us feel less alone`. Responses like these convinces us that without the constant connection to others we would be alone and perhaps develop a mental disorder. With this being the case, the younger generation tend to become a lot less confident when having to interact with others as they are always able to hide behind a screen.

    After evaluating both TED talks, it suggests to me that social media brings a negative impact to society, especially the younger generation. It allows us to be consumed by wanting to be the `perfect` image. Though technology has its benefits such as raising awareness, society rests too strongly on the reliability of communication through social media.


  50. Sophie Langton

    Since I am now a teenager myself and have therefore grown up in a younger generation who in which is obsessed with social media, I understand how much of an impact it has had on peoples lives, including my own. After watching both TED talks, it has highlighted to me how social media can either be viewed as a very positive thing or something negative that can have detrimental effects and consequences.

    I personally believe that social media allows us to hide behind a screen and hide our true identity, which in turn allows us to post, comment, tweet, etc. whatever we like without thinking of the effect that could potentially have on someone else, whether that be positive or negative. In Jon Ronson’s video, he talked about Justine Sacco and about how a few tweets meant originally for her 170 followers quickly made her a victim of online shaming as her tweets went viral and she rapidly became the worldwide number one trending topic on twitter. The majority of the abusive comments would not have been said to her face to face so this just proves how social media gives people the opportunity to hide behind a mask.

    It is also common that nowadays, many of the younger generation would prefer to talk to someone via social media compared to having an actual conversation with them as they would ‘rather text than talk’. Shelly Turkle expressed that many people may feel like this due to the fact that in a real time conversation, you cant control what you’re going to say and nothing can be edited, deleted, or re-written. With this being said, Turkle also acknowledged how social media can be a positive impact if it is used in the correct way, but with living in a world where now nearly everything has changed to being online, this will only be harder to achieve.

    In conclusion, I believe that social media has a negative impact in the ways in which we communicate as it is getting easier to text/message/talk to someone online but harder to have a real time conversation. However, I do see and also understand that social media isn’t always negative and can be used in positive ways too (such as to quickly spread awareness of important issues). But overall I feel as though the society today relies too heavily on social media as a communication method.


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