In our culture, or “cyberculture”, the dependency on social media for affirmation of popularity and the need to constantly check these outlets for notifications and updates has decreased the amount of value people place on interpersonal relationships. At multiple times throughout the day you can hear questions like, “Hey, how many likes did you get on that insta?” or “Did you see Corinne’s status?”. It seems that our everyday relationships and conversations are now centered around what’s on social media and the interactions people have on these internet sources. Then, to take it a step further, there are many times that you can walk by a full table of people and every single person is glued to their cell phone. Sometimes, I personally find myself looking at my phone and not even paying attention to what I’m looking at; I’m just looking to have something to fill my time and make me seem busy.
I’m not saying that we need to stop using social media all together, but I do think we need to focus on trying to decrease our usage, especially when hanging out with friends. I find it frustrating when I am trying to have a conversation with one of my friends and while talking she is looking down at her phone the whole time. Although multitasking is possible, it takes away the personal connection you are having with the person if you are just looking at your phone and not making eye contact while they are talking. We are obsessed with our social media relationships and we sometimes place more value on “how many likes” we get than with making connections with the real people right in front of us. I have attached a ted talk that my sister, Caroline Giegerich, gave at TEDxAustinWomen about how having a social addiction ruined many relationships in her life. I think that we need to pay more attention to this issue; it is more than “just a habit” and this habit can become a real addiction.