AI (Artificial Intelligence) has grown so much in recent years, it has become embedded in our lives. From the development of the Walkman to the plans for the so-called smart headphones, we have become more reliant on artificial realities for companions. Whereas the Walkman started to block our interactions with other people through distracting our hearing, the looming creation of smart headphones pose a deeper threat to our human connections. Soon, with the potential creation of smart headphones such as the Vinci smart headphone by Inspero Inc, people will be able to use headphones to somewhat replace a human companion. With these headphones, people will be able to ask a Siri-like voice for multiple things, such as directions, music shuffling, and weather predictions. But the most shocking thing these headphones will be able to do is suggest changes to the buyer, such as changing the music to fit the anticipated “tone.”
This addition to our influences will most likely be another negative one. Following along with the negative culture which dually takes away our resolve to rely on critical thinking and places less importance on human connection, reliance on smart headphones will end up leaving people feeling empty and lonely. Unlike other technological advancements which improve manual labor, this advancement in technology will take away the need for people to be alert and think for themselves. In this way, smart headphones will continue the trend of creating the mob culture instead of training people as individuals. Much like how reliance on social media, such as Snapchat and Instagram, greatly persuades people to think the way media want people to think, smart headphones may numb people from recognizing the importance of both their critical thinking skills and human connectivity.
When watching the Kickstart advertisement for these headphones, I was horrifically reminded of the shells (wireless smart headphones) from Fahrenheit 451. In Fahrenheit 451, people are so accustomed to the companionship they receive from the shells that they hardly ever think for themselves or have any deep relationships with others. Only when the main character realizes this and stops using them, is he able to see reality without that outside influence. Now, while we approach a time when our culture will start to become more and more reliant on Artificial Intelligence, it is extremely important to remember the vital lessons from Fahrenheit 451. Namely, that human companionship is unparalleled, and the ability to think independently forms the core of our very own identity.
Although Fahrenheit 451 lays out a society so reliant on AI it seems a bit exaggerated and impossible, it nevertheless challenges us to constantly keep our reliance on AI in check. Humanity will never reach the point where we use only AI for companionship because we are social animals and will recognize the superficiality of AI in the end through our natural impulses to create real and deep relationships with people. But, I think it is very possible for people to rely on AI to an unhealthy extent, despite their real relationships. While in the end, people may just use these headphones as any other headphones due to the apparently great sound quality, knowing the potential dangers of these headphones may prevent people from disappearing into an entirely different world–the Artificial world.
With 2016 coming to a quick close, the media has tried to reinforce its agenda with its focus on giving 2016 a negative name. The media has been filled with mourning for the loss of many celebrities and the outcome of the election through countless memes and sound bites. Through these tactics, the media has striven to consume the audience with their agenda and project a negative outlook on the passing year. But, instead of providing encouragement for the coming year, this negative judgment of 2016 aids the media by convincing the audience to remedy their sorrows through materialistic means. In other words, by drawing attention to the deaths of celebrities, the media hopes to drown the audience in its materialistic message. And, by referring to the election as a complete loss in 2016 with quick memes and sound bites, the media pushes its progressive ideology (with its lacking of analytical thought) onto the audience in a way that is hard to challenge.
Through dragging us into thinking that 2016 was a horrible year, the media demonstrates its focus on the memes and sound bites which emotionally attract people. Using events which have recently happened, the media encourages people to make rash statements and generalizations about the year. When many celebrities died in the week leading up to the New Year, memes suggested that their deaths were indicative of the entire year. Because the media was so focused on these deaths, it made people attach their deaths to the entire year. Linking the deaths to the year emotionally aids the media in trying to make people believe that the year basically and superficially relies on the lives of the celebrities. But, because the media does this through funny memes and sound bites, people are easily lead to believe the media.
Thus, it could be easy to get caught up in the media and believe that 2016 was a horrible year. When all you see or hear is death, progressive ideology, and sound bites, it may seem like 2016 was really that bad. But it is important to not get mixed up with that thinking. We need to remember that we can’t judge the entire year based off of just the last two months. This would be entirely superficial. We can’t only judge the year off of the media’s presentations. What we must do is view 2016 holistically. We must discern in which areas we grew and in which areas we need growth. Judging the year based off of celebrity deaths and the election should be thrown out of the window because none of those things are as important as relationships with Christ, family members, and friends. Nor are those two things as important as understanding things on a deeper level.
The coming of the New Year this weekend allows us the opportunity of meditating on the important things in life. Through recognizing that the media does not provide a meaningful way to judge the year, we will be better able to ensure a better next year because we may be able to deny the media’s idea of the good life.
The week before finals, when I was writing one of my essays, my dad made me realize that I didn’t have to stress out about school as much as I had been. The essay was not where I wanted it to be at that point, and I texted my dad, asking him to send up some prayers for me. I told him that I was stressed that the essay would not be good enough, and that I really needed divine intervention. My dad replied that he would of course pray for me, but that I really shouldn’t stress out about the essay. He pointed out that stressing about work is not worth it because as long as I did my best, there was nothing else I can do about it. From that point on, I fixed my attitude about my essay, finished it to the best of my ability, and moved on to other assignments.
My dad revealed a very important lesson. Oftentimes, we associate our self-worth with our worldly successes. When we do poorly in school, don’t perform the best in sports, and don’t execute well for our bosses, we decide that we are worth less. This is a flaw in our culture. It shows that we value people, including ourselves, for how they can benefit us in situations. We “aestheticize” people, that is, we use people in a utilitarian sense, taking what will benefit us and leaving the rest. Instead of looking at people as unique human beings, we sometimes only see people for how they may help us. And, to a certain point, this may be necessary. We may become friends with someone because we have to in order to survive. But if we are only friends with them for that reason, we miss out on any deeper meaning in the relationship.
When we view our worth as directly related to our worldly success, we limit ourselves to just our capabilities for success. For example, if I thought that I was a great person based off of a great paper grade, I would only be judging my character based on my ability to write. That would be a very inaccurate way to judge myself. Perhaps my grades show determination, will-power, commitment, and an ability to understand. But sometimes people get good grades because they know what the teacher wants, or because they were born with a specific talent. A grade doesn’t directly reflect the time you placed in the course or the level of understanding of the material. Perhaps you understood the material, but simply didn’t test well, or wrote in a particular style that the professor didn’t like. All in all, judging ourselves based on how well we did in the class limits the value of the class itself and shows a lacking in recognizing the transcendent worth in knowledge from the course.
As cliché as this will be, our grades truly do not define us. Although grades and GPAs may affect our scholarships and may demonstrate our determination to do well in classes, they do not always reflect our transformation throughout the semester. We should look at school beyond our grades. Instead of limiting courses to credit hours and grades, we should view courses as ways to grow in our life. We should keep in mind the higher purpose of learning. Like the man in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, who is released from the darkness and finally understands the light through education of the light, we are able to understand things in life in a deeper, more truthful way through education.
Thus, through education, we may learn how to live better. At Hillsdale College, students sign an honor code rather than reading a list of “do’s and don’ts.” The honor code, which states “A Hillsdale College student...through education, rises to self-government,” demonstrates the importance of education. Through gaining wisdom and understanding in education, we are able to understand our role in society and things in life in a deeper way. This understanding, thus aids us in having full lives. Therefore, rather than limiting our education to numbers and letters, we should recognize the greatness in education as that which helps us order our lives for the better.
During my senior year of high school, my older brother, who was attending UCSB at the time, told me the best advice I have received. He told me that if people don’t push themselves past their comfort zones, they will not learn. Through putting ourselves in unfamiliar positions, we learn of the consequences of new actions. Therefore, he told me that I had to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Not only will putting ourselves in challenging positions teach us how to grow, they will help us feel confident in our abilities.
When we use social media, we only sometimes put ourselves in challenging situations. More often than not, we just scroll through, looking at whatever catches our eye. Because of the way social media is structured, most of the content does not demand our full attention. Unlike a newspaper, in which you have to read the article to understand current events and issues, social media usually are something which does not demand the user’s analysis. Sometimes, we read articles our friends share. And perhaps engage in discussions on social media. But most of the time, we pass up on these discussions to avoid hurting other’s feelings.
We use social media to get to know other people without having to do the hard part of actually talking to them. We avoid the challenge, if you would call it a challenge, of getting to know someone and be able to read them to understand what they’re actually saying. Social media gives us the opportunity of filling our lives with almost meaningless noise because it distracts us from the reality of things. It only lets us see things at the surface.
Why do we continually use social media when we get the same results each time? Although we may feel like we get closer to others because we find out about their lives, when we don’t actually develop a relationship with others, the satisfaction we receive fades. Because we don’t have real interactions with people, and because we don’t fully focus on social media, it’s hard to form lasting relationships with people. We return to social media for the same fake feeling of friendship.
Sometimes we use social media to receive our news. We learn about the current events from reading article titles and memes, instead of reading actual newspaper articles. Thus, the things we see on social media, if that is the only way we get news, greatly affects the way we view the world. If we view the world based off of social media’s representation, then we only view the world with the carefree attitude we use towards social media. This makes it hard to take the important things in life seriously because we don’t fully understand the things that go on.
This past week at many schools, students had to write their last papers before finals. This week at my school, and many other schools, is commonly called “Hell week” because of the insane amount of papers. I, too, had a hell week and had to write many long papers. This task, albeit challenging, showed me how mind-dumbing social media is. I used social media as a break between writing my papers because it provided light, brainless entertainment. It helped me realize that the knowledge and satisfaction I get from social media is fading compared to the knowledge and understanding I gain when I write papers.
Knowledge and understanding gained from reading intellectually stimulating articles, essays, and other literature is far more transcendent than the satisfaction from social media. When we use social media, we tend to want to keep checking it habitually to see any updates. But, after reading a good essay, we feel satisfied for much longer for learning something stable.
This Thanksgiving, I visited one of my good friends near my school. While on my visit, I saw a cute little magazine cover framed on one of their bookshelves. On the cover, a little girl in a play dress sat knitting what looked to be a scarf. After studying it for a while, realizing how happy the girl seemed, I noticed that it was the cover of an old Good Housekeeping magazine.
Now, this cover would not have been printed. People would have claimed that Good Housekeeping supports a limited view of women and their roles as mothers. Good Housekeeping, according to them, would suggest that a good mother is one who teaches her daughter how to be a good mother in the future, or a good mother according to the standards of that day. Her daughter would learn how to knit, sew, wear dresses, and do other chores. Any mother who fails to do this, fails in being a good mother.
The way our society would react to this cover if it were published today shows a drastic change in our definition of motherhood. To fail to recognize that knitting and sewing are perfectly fine activities for a woman, if she so chooses, is one of the ways we can see this drastic change. Good mothers put their children first. They show them interesting things, and teach them how to behave well. This cover shows that a good mother teaches her children things, including knitting. It demonstrates that good mothers, in teaching their children these things, show them that they can create things and find happiness in their abilities to create. It doesn’t limit women to specific household chores. It merely shows that women, as people, can and should create things.
I remember learning how to knit from my mother. I was excited to be able to make scarves and other neat things just through using two needles and yarn. This sparked my interest in other areas of crafting. But I wasn’t the only one in my family knitting. My brothers did as well. We loved creating things for my family members. We made scarves for practically everyone in the family for Christmas. After learning how to knit, my siblings and I learned how to sew. We created neat couch pillows, with embroidered designs. Whenever we finished a project, we gave it to someone we loved, happy that we could simply create something and give it as a gift.
My mother, as all good mothers, showed us how to create things and find joy through our abilities. She helped keep us creative when we could have been bored watching some unintelligent TV shows, or stuck with an iPad, just following instructions and not really thinking. Through showing us how to knit, sew, and do other crafts, my mother sacrificed her time. Instead of having us sit in front of the TV to let her do the things she wanted to do, she would talk to us and teach us things. She devoted her time to our development and thus our confidence.
Now, many of the Good Housekeeping covers are centered on the mother herself instead of children. The juxtaposition of just the covers of this magazine demonstrates our culture’s drastic change. When motherhood used to be focused on children, it is now focused on the mother and her ability to host other adult guests. It shows that as a culture we are much more focused on ourselves and our pleasures instead of sacrificing for others. And, it shows that we are much less concerned on children and their development in general. We seem to just let other things teach our children, such as educational TV shows or iPads, so that we can have more time ourselves. This is a loss.
Why couldn’t this old magazine cover be a cover today? Would teaching your child how to knit today restrict them from seeking things other than knitting in the future? Does it teach little girls that her place is only in the house? Of course not. It engages children and helps them feel accomplished from creating something. As opposed to just placing children in front of the TV, or handing them iPads to do activities which require them to do things, instead of the more engaging activity of creation, mothers teach their children important skills.
After the election, students at Cornell University organized a “cry in.” Much like the community students have sought through “safe spaces,” these students want to feel that they are not alone in their misery. They gathered to mourn the recent election of Donald Trump and console each other in their coming fear of a man who, they claim, is a bigot, sexist, misogynist, homophobe, xenophobe, and racist, among doubtless more personal attacks.
Professors at other Universities have condoned similar behavior, cancelling tests throughout the week to accommodate the emotional “shock” of their students.
People have fled to Facebook to voice their pain, writing that they will be “allies” to women, blacks, members of the LGBTQ community, and so forth. They claim that those who voted for Trump reflect the descriptors they have used for Trump–attacking their morals and character.
These people make it seem as though everybody who voted for Trump did so out of hate; because they believe in a kind of white supremacy that demands that they bully people who are different.
But that is the way they have seen this whole election. The media has presented Trump as this figure of hate, while the media presented Clinton as the beacon of love. Clinton would be able to support these minority groups and repress the bullying from the privileged. But a vote for Trump would condone it.
Why have people become so weak to the point that they feel the need to publicly cry for the outcome of an election? And why has that become acceptable in this nation? Why have there been an increasing amount of “safe spaces” on campuses?
It seems like the people who have cried, who have voiced their opinions against Trump and for Hillary, and who have felt the need for safe spaces on campuses do exactly what they claim they oppose. They use the system to accommodate their feelings and insult the people who don’t agree with them. They limit these conversations, which could be made about rational things such as policies and actual facts, down to merely emotional responses. And claim that anyone who disagrees with them is a bully and a horrible person.
But, is it really the students’ fault? Many of the universities now have professors who support a progressive, liberal agenda. They reflect the arguments the media has used to demonstrate the weaknesses of those running. But because the media has relied so heavily on the emotional response of the voter, they have focused too much on name calling and mudslinging. So much so that those who claim are rational beings, the university student, is left with little or no means of expressing himself well. They rely on sudden bursts of rage on Facebook, or public displays of sadness through cry-ins, or signs of giving up through “safe spaces” because they think that those who disagree with them will hurt them in person.
What happened to the idea of civil discourse? Has this tool, the very one that lets us express ourselves as people through communication and our use of reason, become just something of antiquity? Can we still fight back the animalistic urge to express ourselves in tears instead of reason?
I think so. As Edmund Burke puts it, “To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” Let us read, then. And reflect. So that we may differentiate fact from opinion–truth from falsehood.
Challenging ourselves is good. Through challenges, we learn important things, such as what we are best at and how we can do things better. We may grow from challenges, thus widening our areas of expertise and becoming more comfortable in pushing ourselves. Through a good challenge, we focus on bettering specific things so that in the future these things may come a bit easier to us. However, sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture and place our focus on the difficulties of the challenges themselves instead of focusing on our improvements. Through giving ourselves an unrealistic amount of challenges, we may sometimes spread ourselves out too thin and hurt our abilities to succeed.
Through challenging ourselves, we force ourselves to evolve. With less time, resources, or better expectations, we now have to find ways to do better than we had before. In forcing ourselves to do more, we naturally gain more experience. In time, this experience will result in knowledge. Whenever I feel uncomfortable doing something new, I try to remind myself that it is sometimes good to be uncomfortable. While doing something I’m not quite good at, but that is good and beneficial for me, I may at first feel uncomfortable. When I went to College, I was at first uncomfortable with living away from home. I didn’t know anyone, didn’t have a car, and wasn’t that great at school. But day by day, I felt more comfortable because I made friends, found ways to get places, and became a better thinker. All of these things are good things that only resulted from me pushing myself out of my house and into something uncomfortable.
However, sometimes we get caught up in the challenges we have, and focus just on how difficult they may be, instead of how we will get better from accepting them. We may get lost in our challenges, and forget what we actually had wanted to achieve through them. Through giving ourselves too many challenges, we may start to only do the bare minimum, resulting in understanding only the surface level of deeper things.
Recently, I had to limit the amount of times I worked my on campus job at the office. Basketball season had started to pick up, and midterms had hit me hard. I was disillusioned with my standings in some of my classes, and realized that I had to readjust my schedule to give me more time for my studies. Although it was hard to decrease my hours at the office, I realized that it was the best thing for me to do because I had been spreading myself out too thin. I had lost sight of the big picture. Seeing some of my grades really notified me that I was not where I wanted to be in my studies and that I wasn’t focused enough on learning. Instead, I was too distracted by the other uses of my time to put enough time in my studies.
Through recognizing our challenges and understanding their goals, we may be able to grow in great ways. However, if we challenge ourselves in too many ways, we may never actually put enough energy into things and get great results. We should, instead, focus on fewer things at one time and get good at them so that we can pile on more challenges later. By becoming experts in our initial challenges, we may use the skills we learned from these and apply them in the future.
A student’s College choice is usually one of the most stressful and significant first choices of his early adulthood. And while it is important to have fun in College, that can’t be the only deciding factor in the selection process. College has to be so much more than just fun. It is responsible for taking students who are just starting to be full adults and teaching them the best way to do that. College, which comes from the Latin word collegium–meaning community, society, guild–is meant to be experienced through a partnership. Through this partnership, the student is fully guided into being.
The three most important things a student should judge a college on are the College’s ability to live up to a sound mission statement, the education, and the community. In the mission statement, Colleges list what they intent on educating their students. If the mission statement matches your principles, then it will most likely be a comfortable fit for you. Getting an education will help you extent that mission statement to other areas of life by giving you the tools you need to teach through word and example the reasons you had for agreeing with those founding principles. And living in a community of positive, semi like-minded individuals will help you share your truth finding experience with others.
A College’s mission statement needs to express concern in defending every true and beautiful thing. It is in the nature of a College to form young adults into responsible and intellectual people. Through helping students understand the ways of life in their four years of learning, Colleges perform their duty in forming human beings. Colleges have a duty in teaching students of the things that matter–the things which transcend youth, social class, and money. The things which make us really human and intrinsically valuable. Therefore, when a College’s mission statement expresses a distinct goal in teaching its students how the world works, it fully becomes a College in acting with the nature of a college.
A College must have a challenging and well-ordered education. During my senior year of high school, I started taking basketball seriously. My confidence soared and I started receiving offers from schools. After receiving a scholarship offer to a school, I verbally accepted out of excitement. However, later in the school year, I realized that the school would not challenge me academically. I was already a decent AP student, graduating with honors, and I did not want to waste four years of my life by only being challenged physically, not mentally. I therefore decided that I needed to go to a school that would challenge me to be the best I could be at every moment. And only through pushing myself every day, I hoped I would get a little better each time. After recognizing this clear change in my expectations for College choice, I searched for a school which had a sound Mission statement and sure ways to achieve that. At the end of my search, I decided on going to a school where I had only the average or below average test scores. But that had an incredible faculty and community which I knew would help me in my growth.
Finally, just like College’s Latin derivative, College needs to be done together. Through community, students are able to motivate each other to be their best. Even though class and homework are important in helping students remember facts and major themes, have a strong community is a necessity in leading students to really understand things. Through discussion, students may express their ideas from their classes and explain through their own theories. In helping others understand concepts, students inevitably expand their own grasp of the subject. And through creating a positive learning environment, students help each other form the right attitudes towards their studies and learning.
A College is what students should attend and graduate as better people. They should be able to use the experiences they had in College to help explain and defend their own opinions, spreading sound ideas to the rest of the world. Many times, when students just choose a College based off of its party culture, they miss something important, something transcendent. They think that College is limited to just the four years they stay at a certain place, but don’t recognize that a College should be much more than that. Through attending a College that makes students question life to get a better understanding of life, students will inevitably carry their wisdom and new ways of approaching life with them.
As a college student, I think it is essential that I challenge myself by pushing myself out of my comfort level in order to learn. Last year, I was comfortable in my stable friend group, my major was clearly mapped out in my head, and I had a concrete plan for my future. This year, much has changed. I have become much more independent of my friend group, tried to branch out in meeting more people, especially in being an RA in a freshman dorm. I have integrated myself more with the basketball team, I have changed my major, and I have embraced higher expectations from my two jobs. And, although I have learned much from these challenges, I desired for a Hillsdale experience in the most holistic way. I wanted to produce something – claim something as my own. So, I signed up for two music classes: private piano lessons, and voice class. Having taken piano before, I had already known what to expect in myself. However, I really did not know if I could sing well or confidently in front of people, so taking the Beginning Voice Lesson forced me out of my comfort zone.
Throughout this semester, I have learned to incorporate my singing into the habits of daily life. In the past, I have had experience with singing. In elementary school, I took lessons with a homeschool teacher in a big group of people. In middle school, I joined my church’s middle school choir. When I listened to music with my sisters, we would all make it an event and sing-along. In addition, both my parents play the guitar, and every so often the whole family would come together to sing. Now, since I have been away from home, I have missed the joys of singing because I had not yet formed habits or groups with which to sing. After joining Beginning Voice Lesson, I have been able to see more opportunities for me to sing. Even though I have not gone out of my way to form new habits, I have been more aware of my voice and how I can incorporate sharing it in my daily life. At church, I have begun to be more conscientious of my voice and how I sing. I have been able to find more joys through singing at church because I make it a point to sound nice and confident. Also, I have attended more music events at the college because I have been more attentive to the music programs at Hillsdale. Thus, through taking Beginning Voice Lesson, I have been able to expand my horizon and experience things which I would have normally missed because I have been exposed to music.
Now, my voice has given me more ways of being joyful. When it is nice and sunny outside, I love to be active and play sports outside. But when it is rainy, gloomy, or cold, I can’t really do much of that. Instead, I know I can always go to a practice room inside and sing. Singing reminds me of all of the fun times I have had with my family. Especially when I listen to and sing Indie Rock songs, I am reminded of the times I drove my siblings to the beach with the car windows rolled down, and the times when I was the DJ on one of our big family road trips. Thus, through being more aware of my voice and music, I have been able to remember the little joys I once shared with my siblings and family.
Embracing my new ideal in experiencing Hillsdale in the most holistic way has helped me approach life at school with much more joy. Through singing, I have been able to remember the fun times with my loved ones, even though I will not see them for a long time. This summer, whenever I get homesick and want to think of the great times with my family, I now have a solution. I can sing the old campfire and Indie rock summer songs I used to sing with my family and remind myself of the emotions of happiness and joy and feel when I am with my family.
Last week, I discussed the line people need to walk with social media. I suggested that people need to be able to recognize when social media are appropriate to use, and when using them becomes an obsession. Now, I would like to continue this discussion and give more reasons to my claims. Social media become an issue when people prioritize social media over real life situations, giving media an unordered amount of attention. The dangers which result from an obsession with social media are not worth the temporal pleasures people experience through them.
The world is ordered. Once order is lost, chaos reigns. This is obvious through almost everything in daily life. When people pay attention to things that do not really matter, they may find it difficult to finally face the important things because their minds were not well prepared. Similarly, Love is ordered. When we love something out of its order, we glorify that thing, and can easily become used to treating that thing that way. For example, when we honor a good above an obviously greater good, we lose sight of the proper value of things and unjustly give attention to things. In Augustine's Confessions, Augustine discusses the hierarchy of goods. He states that all things are good in their proper place. So, food and drink are good. They both nourish our bodies and make us feel good. We get a certain amount of satisfaction when we eat and drink. Having friends is good too. We also receive satisfaction from relationships with others. But we do so in a much more meaningful way through learning, sacrifice, and charity. However, Augustine states that when we place our love for food and drink above our love of friendship, we inordinately love food and drink. We become obsessed with that good and undervalue what rightfully is a better good.
Ordering our lives well also includes ordering the love for the goods in our lives. Social media, albeit a good in this world, are things which can easily be mistreated. Once people start replacing the love they have for social media above the love for actual conversations, they undervalue real relationships and obsess over something too much. You may say, however, that social media is a way to enrich your relationship with someone else. And while this is true to a certain extent, depending on social media for all of the development of a relationship is dangerous. Social media, due to the fact that people who use it so often, can easily be a place where people falsely feel close to their "friends" or "followers." Through pictures and posts, you may feel like you are close to someone. But because there are no actual interactions, the only thing you learn about the other is facts. You miss every other good thing in a relationship with that other person. You feel as though you are right there with them, but you are not. You are by yourself on the couch, watching others live their lives separately. Social media can give you a false sense of being close with people even though in reality you are not. Thus, when people spend more time on social media than with people, they learn more about other people's lives than other people in actuality.
In another sense, Social media are dangerous because they force habits on those who are used to using them. Social media, as I mentioned earlier, gives people access to information–quick information. Through snapchat, people can see what others are doing just through the quick tap on the phone. And especially now, with snapchat's fairly recent News stories, people have easy access to a lot of quick information. Though oftentimes morally reprehensible and disgusting, these News stories supply the snapper with quick and easy stories just through the tap of a finger. It makes accessing the news much simpler. But also, it makes the reader accustomed to quick information. Through getting used to accessing information this way, with little time to actually process and think about the new information, the snapper may get lazy and desert other ways he gets news. He abandon critical thinking skills, eventually even just accepting what he says as true and never really finding out a truly accurate answer. He may get used to not asking himself "why," which will ultimately hurt him in the long run.
In total, social media, although a good, is a low good and must be treated thus. It is a way we use to communicate with one another, but it is merely a way. Once social media replace actual conversations, we have messed up somewhere. But it is not too late if you feel like social media have enslaved you. You can always just take a break from it. Periodically deleting apps on your phone may help you take space away from social media. I often delete apps off of my phone months at a time to ensure that I never become addicted to some. Using social media does not make you a bad person, but just like everything in life, goods are ordered, and are so justly. We must be careful to honor their places.
Jessica De Gree
Jessica teaches English as a second language in Spain and plays basketball professionally there. She recently received her Bachelor's degree from Hillsdale College, one of the nation's top Liberal Arts schools in MI. At Hillsdale, she played basketball and studied English and Spanish. Some of her hobbies include reading, writing, painting, surfing, and playing the piano.