The psychology behind human motivation and actions is of great interest to the #SMXChat team. We are proponents of  strengthening human connections via social media, but, as noted in recent studies, we wonder if a wide-ranging, diverse web of connections is having an effect opposite from what is intended.

A recent article by Elsa Vulliamy in Independent concludes:

Texting and using social media can result in “cognitive and moral shallowness”, studies have found.

She further notes the theory posited by author Nicholas G. Carr that social media is changing how we “think, read, and remember” and relates that

Carr speculated that the internet was causing a decline in reflective thought. The reason for this is largely the fast-paced nature of internet communication, which usually involves short texts, tweets, comments and messages that don’t take long to process.

Carr’s theory is that his has lead to an overall decline in reflective thought, and, one might say, a loss of emphasis on empathy. Isn’t this just the opposite of the effect that we hoped social media held promise for?

We’ve observed that as people become more known, gaining greater ‘celebrity’ on social media, their individual interactions decline. I’m not sure I’d categorize it as a ‘moral and ethical decline’ as theorized in the Independent piece, but it is a noticeable change that is observable.

So what? One might say. As ‘social’ becomes ‘business’ we must expect a trade-off between personal connection and network connectivity, right? The network has become the goal. Since marketing professionals use social networking tools as the contact point for individual consumers, how does the theory of moral and cognitive decline affect how we connect with people on social media?

Q1) How has social media impacted individual behavior in consuming content?

Q2) Is there a social media ‘fatigue factor’ in play? How do marketers overcome it?

Q3) The impact of social media is decidedly generational. Yes or No?  How do we reach different generations?

Q4) Is the solution to social media fatigue to keep up with every new app coming down the pipeline?

Q5) Casual observation: As people gain notoriety on social platforms their individual connections suffer. Agree/Disagree? Why?

Q6) Does complacent behavior on social media extend to biz/brands? How can they avoid it?