TECHNO MODERATION

Less technology use on the horizon

LUIS ALMEIDA
Posted 10/11/18

I’m seeing a shift in how youngsters are using social media. Although they are still using computer technology for 8-plus hours each day, many kids these days are telling me that they are on social …

This item is available in full to subscribers

TECHNO MODERATION

Less technology use on the horizon

Posted

I’m seeing a shift in how youngsters are using social media.

Although they are still using computer technology for 8-plus hours each day, many kids these days are telling me that they are on social media much less than in previous years. What an interesting shift in the way they use media these days, I must add!

How did that happen, you may be asking? What in the world has happened? In this column, I’m going to write about the reasons why. Are you ready for this? Here we go. 

Millennials are using social media less because the systems they use (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) are now robust and mature. It is not easy to get likes and comments on these platforms anymore unless you pay a fee.

Kids, like you and me, are in search of attention. They aren’t getting the attention they think they deserve on these social media channels anymore. Therefore, we are seeing a decline of use among this population.

I kind of predicted this a few years back when I talked about youngsters being hungry for attention. We are going to see kids using these tools a bit less for a while, but the irony is that they will eventually realize that failing to use them will handicap them in the workforce because we aren’t moving back to cable TV for communicating. We are moving toward voice-activated technologies to communicate socially now. 

Another reason why they aren’t so much on social media is because they are getting sick and depressed from using these tools. Some are even experiencing thoughts of suicide and getting opioids to cope with social media rejection.

I have spoken with hundreds of students experiencing these thoughts and can attest to you that this crisis is real. What amazes me, however, is that we aren’t attributing part of how they feel to how parents are raising them.

Sure, there seems to be a correlation between social media use and depression. I am wondering if there is also a correlation between helicopter parent behavior and depression, as well. Could it be that both social media and parents doing everything for their kids so they don’t “experience stress” in life is making them more stressed? Think about it. 

Read this carefully: People like to blame things in order to not blame themselves. To me, social media and parenting are causing this crisis we are experiencing these days in America, but that’s just me.

All right, going back to the next reason why kids may be using social media less these days. 

Millennials are probably using social media platforms less because of propaganda and recent literature claiming that these tools are bad for them. I wrote two of these books! It is true that most millennials don’t read so they are probably listening to a podcast online or hearing from a friend on Snapchat or Instagram that using social media too much will make them sick.

Look, I’m glad people are starting to TechnoModerate. If people TechnoModerate, Dr. A wins. Dr. A likes to win. All of these issues, by the way, only advance what I’ve being saying for years: It is OK to use technology, but in moderation. 

I think we are going to see a temporary decline in social media use among the youth and that’s a good thing. As soon as people realize there is a difference between media consumption and media production, we are going to see an increase in social media use among those who produce content. Like in any realm of new technology, the beginning of that innovation process is messy.

Things maybe are changing for the better. I think that our society, for better or for worse, is realizing that all this technology isn’t worth the trouble. But I don’t think that computer use will necessarily stop.

A big change in social media use is on the horizon. Thank God.  

———

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info.)

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE