via The Atlantic - Social media's small, positive role in human relationships
Tufekci makes some excellent observations (extrapolated from a large amount of data) on the benefits of social media. It's a refreshing counter to the panicky things we hear from friends.
For most people, the choice is not leisurely walks on Cape Cod versus social media. It's television versus social media.
I worry at times about my peers who feel they must define society and social interactions as one sort of thing: face-to-face conversation. Sorry, but conversations and interactions mediated by technological tools have existed for decades. Non-social media (anti-social media?) like television, newspapers, books, recorded audio, are far more dangerous in creating isolation and blocking out social contact. Social media promote relationships, enable communication, demand conversations.
I've heard arguments about the forcing of voyeuristic habits – turning 'friends' into objects of observation – and the like, but call bunk on them. You make decisions. If you choose to watch, that's not the fault of the medium. Place blame and responsibility where it is due.