Is Social Media stifling Emotional Intelligence?


Today, I read the most insightful perspective on social media by Arianna Huffington. In her article published on the Huffington Post, Disconnect: A New Movie Sounds the Alarm About Our Hyper-Connected Lives, she makes some astute observations from the movie, Disconnect. Social media or the internet is a form of technological distraction from life, leading us to miss out on many potential treasured memories.

(I have to admit my recent venture into blogging is distracting, but enjoyable. My problems seem less important the more I write—yes, leading to procrastination, but also, opening my mind to new possibilities. It’s a double-edged sword.)

She concluded that too much dependence on technology dulls one’s ability to connect with others. I see that happening with many children. One problem I often think about is whether 24/7 internet produces maladaptive behaviors in young, developing minds that come in contact with self-destructive groups. For many marginalized children, the internet offers hope of belongingness, but at what price? If belonging means not only adopting destructive behaviors but also becoming disconnected very early in life, then that is not good! Both instances inevitably lead to poor educational, economic, and health outcomes.

I believe this paradoxical finding is a by-product of Internet over-use because of stress. (Recent data show a majority of Americans use the internet to find health related information.) The Internet allows children and adults experiencing chronic stress to connect digitally while imposing self-imprisonment. We live in isolation with internet access. What does that mean for our children?

The link to the article: