Opinion: Twitter Disconnects the Peddie Community

By Cassie Follman’16
Staff Writer

Social media has become an aspect of our everyday lives.  I admit that one of the first things I do when I wake up is checking my e-mail, and my roommate and I always remind each other to stop procrastinating on Facebook or Twitter, and start our homework. These platforms for interaction are meant to bring people together; relatives or friends separated by state lines, or keep us updated on the exciting lives of celebrities and their eloquent opinions in 140 characters. However, rather than serving its actual purpose, Twitter disconnects the Peddie community.

The widespread use of Twitter encourages a preconceived notion that anyone who does not use social media websites, or does not own a cell phone, must be disconnected from others. Such misconception fuels our need to become “more” connected through social media and raises our dependence on virtual platforms.

Further, in an article on news site PennLive, blogger Rogetta Harris asks the question, “Why join clubs and organizations to make real friends when you can spend hours on social media websites?” Even though Twitter can form connections, it can also inhibit students from immersing themselves into the Peddie community. As a user of numerous social media websites, I know how much time is spent scrolling through random tweets, and I know this is true for many of my fellow classmates as well.

Not only does this time spent on Twitter affect a student’s efficiency and productivity, it also cuts in the time that students could be using to hang out with current friends by attending an Saturday night activity, or creating stronger relationships with other classmates. It is very important for students to have outlets to relax from the busy life as Peddie students; however, Twitter is not the best form of relaxation and it further promotes isolation.

In an article written by Jim Ninivaggi on the blog SiriusDecisions, he said, “I recently saw a banner hanging from the ceiling of a client’s office that essentially read, “There exists technology today that allows us to have deeper relationships with more people than ever before.”  I agree with the “more” part, but I’m not sure about the “deeper”” How many Twitter followers do you actually know? Despite being connected to a widespread group of people, Jim Ninivaggi brings up the point that these relationships do not mean anything. They are not substantial, and he will probably never actually contact these people and meet with them in person. The case is most likely the same for most of your followers on Twitter.

Further, due to this “connecting” of people on a widespread platform, the Peddie community itself is separated. At Peddie, the sense of community is extremely crucial to Peddie students and faculty. Without this community, Peddie would not be seen as a close-knit family. Twitter is certainly a substantial and contributing factor to the disconnection of our community.

While Twitter, and other social media websites like it, can be useful when used in moderation, they are dangerous and can prevent students from interacting in ways outside of these websites.