I have a particular perspective on this. In the same way that "guns don't kill people; it is people who kill people", the development of social media (and other) apps does not, in itself, create a generation of knuckle-draggers.
It is how we use these new tools that counts. And in that, we all have choices.
In most SM or productivity apps you can see, or feel, the early utopian vision that developers had for their product. Sense how the world would change for the better if you used the new tool in this way, for that purpose.
Actually, in a great many cases I really do think that SM or productivity apps could dramatically change how we all live and communicate. And if there is significance to our communication, we all quickly get smarter, more interesting and capable, right? Cue stirring and evocative music.
Unfortunately, and to momentarily reconnect with my original premise, users of these tools all too often make a free choice to use them in facile and baseless ways. I think here of Instagram posts that feature a plate of baked beans on toast, or whatever else they were having for dinner. And don't even get me started on selfies.
But its not just in the day to day trivialities that we fail to rise to challenge. How long have we had business apps - from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note - that allow for real time simultaneous document collaboration? A fair while. But so very few people I encounter feel comfortable working collaboratively in this way. They prefer to make a document edit, and email to the next guy so he can make his edit, and so forth. We have to tools to work so much more efficiently, and accurately but make an active choice to largely ignore their most helpful features.
I think Utopia beckons, but we are looking the other way.
Excuse me while I print this out and fax it to myself.