Iax, I agree with you that social media has gone too far. You mentioned your generation of people born in the 80s. I was born in 1958, so my perspective on this is different. When I was 30, there were no cell phones, no internet, no smartphones, no home computers, and of course no social media. And we got along without it all just fine. If you wanted to learn a foreign language you enrolled in a course for it, usually at a University where you got a good education in the language. If you wanted to read a book, you went down to the library or to a bookstore and bought it. Social media today is a multi-billion dollar industry and it’s especially dangerous and insidious. It draws lonely, sad, often emotionally crippled people looking for friends and support. Normally they get no support and they never make „friends“ out of it. You have no idea who anybody on this board is, where they live, nothing other than what they tell you. And what makes what they tell you even true? They may not be who they say they are, may not live where they say they live, may not be the age they claim. It’s all fake. Bad experiences on social media can and have left people suicidal and worse off than when they started. And guess what? Do you think the creators of social media care (I’m NOT talking about iTalki, because this is not the purpose of their site. They actually serve a very useful purpose, unlike Facebook and others)? All the multi-billionaires of PURE social media sites care about is money. That’s all. It’s just that simple (and again I’m excluding Italki from this because I don’t really see them as a social media site in the first place). So, beware is all I can say.
I'm thankful to it.
Thanks to youtube I can see my favorite singer live in places I can't sadly afford to go to, I can see the rest of the world on instagram through pictures and videos and on facebook or twitter I have updates from friends and family far away.
I think it is how we use it. We need to use it in healthy ways and there must be a balance. You can't depend on it to feel better.
It is just something you use but it can't control your life.
Easier said than done though, many people are definitely addicted and not using it wisely at all :(
So somehow I understand your point of view.
But really, ten years ago I would never have a norwegian teacher. I simply wouldnt find one in my hometown. Nowadays I can buy books and I can have classes online thanks to the internet.
You're obviously an intelligent, thoughtful person. I don't want to offend you, but I think you need to concentrate on your thoughts and what you want to say, in order to express yourself more clearly. It's very difficult to do in a foreign language. I did the best I could to write what I thought you were trying to say/express and hope that I succeeded, for the most part. I put part of the first sentences in brackets because I wasn't sure what to change it to.
I belong to a generation that has observed the transition between [online social absences and the current situation.] Yeah, raise your hand if you were born in 80's. For me, it was natural to eat without taking a picture and sharing it with the faceless, nameless society behind the social networks. For me, it was natural to ring a friend's phone twice, a way to send a message with many possible meanings: "I'm thinking of you", "Come on, hurry up", or "Come, guess what I'm thinking", haha. Anyway, the social networks are monopolizing our thoughts, encouraging us to share our every action, to be happy or to be cool. Frequently I wonder, "Is that right? Is that our future?" or should we set some limits so we can live a more meaningful, "real" life? How can we build strong relationships like this? What do you think about this fast-thinking, international stream of consciousness? :)
As with anything it has its advantages and disadvantages. As was already mentioned by Isabelle it can help people connect with resources and people that they would never have had the chance to interact with otherwise that aspect is lovely when used wisely.
I do worry about the impact of it on people’s mental health and ability to hold a conversation in person, the fact it can encourage materialistic behaviour and unrealistic ideals though.
However I’m certainly biased because those things conflict with my personal views.
At the end of the day, as long as people are genuinely enjoying themselves and finding happiness while not hurting others then let’s leave them to it.
The problem remains the same as before the social media age; duplicitous, disrespectful and insincere ideas, actions and words cause harm.
So perhaps it’s better in the long term that social media highlights these things, so they can be dealt with accordingly. Harmless new things can become better understood and accepted and the harmful things can be removed. Then everyone can simply benefit.