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Cracked By a Tweet

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After watching the very first episode of the television series Crackanory and then having a heated discussion about it in my literature class, I was quite inspired to write an article exploring the toxic impacts that social media may have on human interactions.

 

The episode tells the story of a simple man who tweets a bitter tweet to a popular celebrity, and is then turned into a viral sensation that gets tormented by a large portion of twitter users, online and in real life, in the time span of around 10 minutes. The episode explores various topics such as the lack of authenticity on social media and humanity’s desire to attract attention, as well as to fit in, however what stuck out most to my fellow lit students and I, was the extent to which our obsession with social media may affect our real life interactions.

 

For instance, the entirety of the story takes place in a pub, which was once a place for meeting new people and interacting, yet in the 21st century setting of the story, it is solely an artificial location that provides the seating that the characters deem necessary when engaging in forged online feuds. In fact, the only human interaction that our protagonist experiences in the pub is when he is being confronted for the words he utilises within his tweet.

 

While IRL interaction is still relevant and vital, it is undeniable that in this day and age, if one is simply sitting down in a coffee shop or a pub, without being engaged by their phones and the many activities of leisure it offers, they are the odd one. We feel as though we are constantly obligated to check our phones and refresh our feeds in order to make sure that nothing drastic happened during those few minutes in which we paid a visit to the bathroom. And quitting for any kind of purpose appears irrational, because while social media may be damaging, the isolation that may be caused by not having it, may be even more damaging.

 

However, while our class discussion reached many levels, we did ultimately come to the understanding that while our obsession with social media may be having significant, detrimental and limiting implications, face to face communication is by no means dead. As humans, we are social beings who crave interaction and thrive on live-conversation.

 

If we ever do reach a state where such synergy appears impossible, then we no longer are human beings.

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