Social media brings real change

by Liusi Bao, University student

Last week, I read an article taking about how social media has changed our life and language. The author, Jon Reed, claimed that social media has provided a new way of communication for us. He had a definitely positive attitude toward this change.
Although I agree with Reed’s argument that social media does change traditional ways of communication, I don’t have a completely positive attitude about that. 
Reed’s belief that social media has prompted a subtle revolution in the way we communicate is supported by the different communication style resulting from the creative constraints of a 140-character limit on Twitter. He also indicates that we benefit from social media because it lets us touch larger audiences and share personal information. 
However, sharing our information with a larger public also does harm to our daily lives. Social media seems to support ways to catch up with your friends via sites like Twitter or Facebook. Actually, however, I think we spend more time online sharing our personal information with strangers than our real friends. 
From my own experience, I have observed a lot of cases in Starbucks or other public places when friends sit opposite each other with their eyes focused on their own cell phone screens when they’re waiting for coffee or dessert. It’s awkward that we now get used to sharing quality time with our friends that involves less talking with them in person. Instead, we concentrate more on the information from our “friends” on social media. To this extent, the connection between you and your real-world friends is weakened by social media.
However, social media does offer a novel way to communicate with a mass audience. Take last year’s conflict management between Taylor Swift and Spotify. According to Business Insider, Spotify was involved in a crisis of public relations after Swift decided to drop her songs from the streaming service. Instead of contributing an article to the press, Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, quickly posted an article on the company’s blog to defend the honor of his company from Swift’s criticism. 
We don’t need to focus on the result of their “war.” However, we should notice that this method of conflict resolution never could have happened without the popularity of social media.