Mohammad Alshereda considers himself a constant student with a self-professed addiction to knowledge. One of his favorite quotes is, “If we stop learning, we stop progressing.” He is a sociologist with a degree from the College of Social Sciences: Kuwait University. He is a member of four sociological associations including the International Sociological Association (ISA), the American Sociological Association (ASA), Canadian Sociological Association (CSA), and European Sociological Association (ESA) and has written man works on social media and how it impacts human behaviors and is impacted by human behaviors.
Alshereda believes that the increasing reliance on social media for social contact and interactions has led to a new frame of mind where people seek affirmations in the form of social media shares and likes rather than through positive social interactions with other human beings. This shift has created massive increases in social anxiety and an overall loss in personal confidence among people. Furthermore, the lack of social contact and interaction with other “in the flesh” human beings makes it more difficult for people to interact with others when absolutely necessary.
He does acknowledge that social media can definitely be a “force for good,” however, making it sound like somewhat of a contradiction. Once people investigate further, though, the idea rings true. Social media has been a boon for business and entertainment. From YouTube stars to entrepreneurs who made names for themselves through their social media efforts, social media has been a phenomenon for people who were willing to take the time to master it for their purposes.
Social media does not, however, offer the promise of instant riches and fame some would have people believe. YouTube is filled with people seeking their 15 minutes of fame. Plus, there are also risks involved in becoming too popular on social media too fast. One shining example would be the Chewbacca mom story. Her rise to fame was meteoric and profitable. But the public goodwill toward this middle class Texas mom was brief and the audience quickly turned against the mom whose joy sparked public love and whose sorrow sparked public ire and disdain.
For some, social media has become an outlet that allows the worst of their natures to run free. For others, it is an opportunity to connect and find people who share similar values. Unfortunately, it has the equal opportunity to be used for isolation and divisiveness. Individuals must choose how they elect to allow social media into their lives and how much time they spend on social media at the cost of real people in their worlds.