If you're reading this right now, it's likely you're browsing on your computer or mobile device while out and about. Maybe you had a few minutes waiting in line for coffee, or needed to pass some time on the train. Regardless, when you had a moment of free time you looked to the Internet to feel connected with the world, and you're not the only one. In one study, more than 40 percent of respondents noted they experience more social interactions online than face-to-face, and that more devices are connected to the Internet than there are people for each device. What's more, of the nearly 7 billion people in the world, more than 500 million are Facebook users, half of which log in daily. Of those who use the social media platform, 700 billion minutes per month are spent perusing the site (that's an hour and 40 minutes per person in the world). The world of Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and more aren't far behind, either. Social media has taken over just about every market on the web, including the one time "reason for the Internet": adult websites.
While it's true that social media allows us to connect to news, entertainment and each other in new and interesting ways, what are some of the short- and long-term affects of prolonged use? How does the Internet barrier affect social relationships in real life? How did we communicate before Facebook and Twitter? This playlist walks you through the complex social, cultural and psychological side effects of a socially connected world.