How Does Social Media Use Reflective Thought?

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The purpose of this research is to determine whether or not social media use impacts one 's ability for what D.A. Norman refers to as "reflective thought;" that is, one 's ability to think deeply by questioning and examining information (45). The research revolves around the following questions: Do we, as social media users, too readily accept what we read online, without challenging or questioning the thoughts of others? Or, does social media use encourage us to think reflectively through the propagation of a broad array of knowledge and opinions that allow us to more accurately develop our own personal beliefs? There is no universal consensus between academics as to the answers to such questions, with some suggesting that social media use has a positive effect on reflective thought and others suggesting it has a negative effect. To illustrate this contentiousness, this essay will rely on research, mostly in the form of studies, from both factions of academics. I will also present two different examples of social media use: in one example, which is drawn from the comment section of a University discussion forum, reflective thinking is encouraged and in the other, which is taken from the comment section of a fraudulent Facebook photograph, reflective thinking is hindered. I will conclude by suggesting that there is no concrete answer as to the impact of social media use on reflective thought; the role it plays depends entirely on the individual and how he or she utilizes the

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