Despite what others may thing, I think social media is making people less social in public. We are now at a point where people born in the last 10 years will literally spend all of their childhood and formative years on social media, mainly indoors, which will have a profound effect on social skills. While some people who have these issues have been labeled as “being on the spectrum” and “socially awkward”, I think the lack of a societal based childhood where friends are online and not in person has a major impact on mental health.
The internet is a great tool, but like anything in life, moderation is key. The internet became so popular, so fast, there wasn’t really any studies conducted to see the effects of it.
Some people literally have their entire life online. All of their friends and interactions are conducted entirely online and they might see each other only a few times a year. In almost feels like the matrix, in a way, because people have literally an online identity that can be totally different than the one they have in real life.
I don’t see us getting better anytime soon. People are becoming more selfish and egotistical and can seek instant validation on the internet because no matter how much of an asshole or ignorant someone is, there will be a handful of people who agree with them and forge their otherwise largely negative viewpoints. Their are entire subreddits, websites and facebook groups that are echo chambers for these people and it is becoming toxic the more these people are validated.