Susan Tardanico’s article “is Social Media Sabotaging Communication?” is basically the (somewhat irrational, in my opinion) fear of every tech-adverse person you’ve ever met, summarized and neatly packaged into an article. Yes, some interesting points are raised. Is it easier today to hide your try identity, and consequently, motives and feelings with the advent of social media? Perhaps, perhaps. And yet, I can’t help but wonder is this is really a sabotage of communication?
While the suicide attempt that Tardanico mentions is certainly tragic, I don’t think that this is an example of a break in communication. If anything, I would argue that social media is still improving communication in this situation-not because the end result was positive, but only because it achieved the communicative goal of it’s user; in this case, it was unfortunately deception. For many people around the world, Social Media is viewed as a wonder of communication-building virtual bridges across the world, linking together people who otherwise would have never met. In other words, I would suggest viewing Social Media the way we view tools, like the hammer, the pencil, or the gun. How it is used, and what effect it has, depends on the motivation of the person using it. Tardanico does seem to be getting to this point with her list of “Tips” for E communication at the end, but I’ll say it more plainly. Social Media can certainly be used to sabotage communication, but only if we let it-or perhaps, more accurately, if we want it too.