Does social media cause anti-social behavior?

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Does social media cause anti-social behavior?

Postby darnerdemons » July 12th, 2019, 9:57:40 pm

This has been a burning question on my mind for many years now, since i was in high school really. I feel like society as a whole has become far more jaded, untrustworthy, and highly politicized in every facet ever since facebook and twitter became mainstream websites.

I Personally feel that while it doesn't directly cause anti-social behavior, it does unlock that door for a lot more people that wouldn't be otherwise, due to just how much information there is to process posted on the internet and especially social media every second of the day, but i'd like to hear others thoughts on the matter.
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Re: Does social media cause anti-social behavior?

Postby BradTheMad » July 14th, 2019, 11:37:33 am

I believe you have a point and think anonimity is mostly to blame. Nobody is really held accountable for their actions and unless you are a well-known public figure you can pretty much say whatever you'd like without consequence.

Another factor is that it is easy to say all sorts of horrible things if all you've got is another "user" in front of you. It is hard to feel empathy with just a picture or screen name.

I do feel that society has become very black & white and "us versus them". It is hard to seek a middle ground if you can easily block people who "threaten" your world views and hook up with those you agree with.

There's probably a lot more factors involved but I agree that social media is responsible for a large part.
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Re: Does social media cause anti-social behavior?

Postby HobbitFeet » July 15th, 2019, 1:25:56 pm

I agree with both of you to a degree.

I think if someone's already predisposed to antisocial behavior, they're going to flourish on social media.

Now, I need a distinction made, because I realized we might have a different approach to this question as I was coming up with an answer. Do you mean anti-social in the way psychology means it, where a person has cruel tendencies that can develop into psychopathic behavior? Or do you mean it to be literal, where a person hides from face to face interaction? Because I have a response to both.

If you mean it in the psychological definition, I think social media exacerbates an existing issue. School shooters use social media to express themselves. They post photos of their guns, thinly veiled threats in posts, sometimes video tape their anger and put it on YouTube. Like violent video games, I don't think social media creates a monster, but it gives monstrous people an outlet, or a thing to obsess over to, like I said, exacerbate their already-there issues.

BUT, if you mean it to be like, a person who doesn't like speaking face to face with folks, or going out in public... again, I think it just amplifies an issue that's already underlying. I'm not a very public person, but I find I'm slightly more eloquent and demonstrative when I'm interacting online. I have more time to think about what I'm saying before I say it, and I prefer this form of interaction. I think we're exposed to more information nowadays, and sometimes when we listen to the same rhetoric over and over again, it can indeed make us a little jaded. It also affords us the ability to insulate yourself with like minded people, and to be able to fight with "other" minded folks with little to no consequence. Does that make us monsters? I don't think so. But I feel like we should occasionally take breaks from social media when we feel like it's impacting us negatively.
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