Risks and Benefits of Social Media Essay

1063 Words 5 Pages
Social networking has increasingly had a huge impact on society. Technology has opened the door to a vast amount of information and to the ability to relay that information to practically anybody at anytime and anywhere. People are constantly checking their email, updating their status on Facebook, sending tweets on Twitter, instant messaging, and texting. The debate of whether the use of social networking is a negative or positive aspect is a continuous one. In the case of Steven Pinker, his essay “Mind over Mass Media” argues that media technologies have a positive effect on mental development. In contrast, Sherry Turkle’s essay “Connectivity and Its Discontents” asserts that technology has a negative effect on interpersonal …show more content…
“If electronic media were hazardous to intelligence,” commented Pinker, “the quality of science would be plummeting, [but instead,] discoveries are multiplying like fruit flies, and progress is dizzying” (4). Furthermore, Pinker points out that most media researchers think the brain becomes whatever it consumes, and therefore, is harmful to human intelligence. However, Pinker suggests that “these technologies are the only things that will keep us smart” (11) and in reality do not turn one’s thoughts into whatever it consumes. Although Pinker provides a strong argument in regards to the positive aspect of social networking, his supporting evidence has some flaws. Pinker’s primary argument regarding video games creates a post hoc fallacy. Pinker assumes that the decreasing crime rate was due to the rise of new technologies. However, he fails to consider that other factors could have caused the downfall in crime. Also in his essay, Pinker promotes a fallacy by begging the question when discussing the science field. He implies that the quality of science is thriving due to advances in technology. However, Pinker cannot prove that the quality of science is not decreasing. Another occurrence of Pinker’s flawed logic is through the inclusion of a weak analogy. Pinker comments that “the brain takes on the qualities of whatever it consumes, [which is] the informational equivalent of ‘you are what you eat’” (8). Physical appearance differs greatly from cognitive

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