This past Friday in English class, we wandered along a tangent derived from the book, The Dumbest Generation. According to my English teacher, this book by Mark Bauerlein talks about how my generation’s extensive use of technology is making us less aware, more self focused and eventually, dumber.
In class, we discussed whether or not WE thought that Bauerlein’s supposition was true. The discussion soon focused mainly on whether or not social media was making us more self-centered. One of my friends, who barely uses social media, said that he thought it did, because for us to post statuses, pictures and tweets, we assume that people care about what we have to say. I personally have a different, rather out there opinion, because I tweet and post mainly because I want to put my thoughts out there. When people first started to respond to my tweets, I was pleasantly surprised. Even now, I get really excited when someone favorites or retweets or likes what I post, because it makes me feel like people do care. I don’t think most people assume that everyone cares, at least not non celebrities.
Another classmate of mine brought up the point that social media is broadening our world views and making us more connected with more people. This is almost the opposite of focusing on yourself. Now, people are using social media to support causes and spread the word about things and ideas bigger than any one person. Additionally, people DO want to know what others are saying, and they follow, friend and interact with those other people for that reason.
What do you think? Is technology such as social media (twitter and Facebook) causing us to be more solipsistic? Or is it the reverse, and it’s giving us a more rounded world view?