More and more experts on the field of psychology, sociology and cultural behavior, as well as more and more experts on actual social media development, have been raising concerns that modern social media websites like Facebook and Twitter have not only on the youth ("millenials"), but society as a whole, especially in the near future.
As I have commented in a past blog post, and as has been presented in many excellent interviews and speeches by experts, the modern social media is both extremely addictive and detrimental, especially to young people who are growing up.
Social media, and the extreme easy access to it from anywhere you are (ie. using smartphones) is creating a generation of shallow people who are addicted to instant gratification and are unable to empathize and form deep social bonds.
Humans require deep social bonds, a small circle of people who they know extremely well, can open up to, and have long, deep conversations with, in order to become balanced, psychologically and socially healthy people. The current generation, however, is being raised in an environment where they may have hundreds, sometimes even literally thousands, of faceless "acquaintances", most of whom they don't know at all, but who constantly give them feedback and reactions to everything they say. In other words, send a message, and in mere minutes get dozens of supportive responses to it. It's a form of "fast-food socialization", which is extremely superficial and fleeting.
It has been demonstrated in actual studies that this form of interaction is addictive in the exact same way as eg. gambling. Getting this kind of positive feedback to everything you say so fast actually causes a physical surge of dopamine. The exact same kind of surge that one gets eg. when winning while gambling. And it can be highly addictive, in the exact same way as gambling addiction. It has also been demonstrated that young people who are deeply addicted to social media get actual and demonstrable psychological withdrawal symptoms if they have to go without social media even just for a few days.
It also has been demonstrated that a young person growing up with this kind of addiction, these kind of "fast-food" social interactions, physically affects the brain. It "rewires" the brain, and affects the personality and thinking of the person (and might be irreversible, if it goes for long enough). Among other things, it lowers attention span, as well as capacity for empathy. In other words, the person becomes less and less capable of concentrating on one thing for longer periods of time, and they become less and less capable of empathizing with other people and understanding their emotions and feelings. They become egotistical, self-centered and narcissistic, always expecting and demanding attention and positive feedback, and getting disproportionately upset, distressed, angry, and even depressed, about negative feedback and criticism. Even simply not getting the attention they crave can trigger anger and depression.
Short attention span can have a devastating effect on the person's ability to learn, study and become proficient at something. When they get bored in literally seconds, it's extremely hard for them to learn even slightly complex subjects.
Social media is making people dumb. Literally. That's no joke.
Of course there will always be exceptions. A portion of the population, even young people, are talented and willing to practice, learn and become proficient at certain things that interest them, such as certain professions. They may be more or less "immune" to the addictive effect of social media, and it never really picks their interest nor hooks them. They may often become star students, and excellent candidates at their preferred professions. Society needs this kind of talented and dedicated people in order to keep running, and to advance.
The problem is that the non-empathetic spoiled brats, who are now forming a larger and larger portion of the population, is not only egotistical, but highly jealous of people who are more successful than them. Thus they will do everything to stop and bring down the hard-working successful people.
We are already seeing signs of this happening. Social justice academics are already writing articles against meritocracy, against valuing and rewarding people's merits, qualifications, talents and hard work. The sentiment seems to be that it's "unfair" that some people are rewarded more than others, just because they are more talented or have more experience and are more proficient at their job. It's "unfair" that some people are more successful because they are better at something. It's "discriminatory", and "toxic", and whatnot.
If they get their way, and get in power, they will actually quite literally stop talented hard-working people from being successful and earning more rewards than others. They will literally punish people for being too good at a job or profession. They are deeply jealous, and simply cannot stand seeing other people being more successful and happier than they are. Because of their own insecurities and deficiencies, they will take revenge on the more successful people by forcefully bringing them down, and punishing them for being better.
If this goes far enough, it will inevitably lead to a complete collapse of our society as it is now. What's seen in Venezuela will start happening more and more, with the economy in complete ruins, production pretty much halted, and people killing zoo animals to eat, because they are starving to death.
And the thing is, social media will not stop, even if they fully acknowledge this. That's because social media is too profitable. The only way to stop it would be for the government to ban it, which in itself raises all kinds of questions about rights and freedoms, and government censorship, which is a whole mess.
Maybe there is no hope.