Thursday Thought: What Is Social Media Doing To Us?

People on phones with social media icon chalkboard

“Does social media bring us closer together or push us further apart? In today’s digital age, that’s the million-dollar (or 1782.41-bitcoin) question. In a time where “Social Media” is prevalent, it’s easier to meet & connect with people all over the world while building bridges that may have once taken months if not years to forge. But, are these binary bridges built to last? The answer starts and ends with authentic human interaction.”

Existing behind the computer or mobile device diminishes the amount of interaction thus diminishing the key ingredients that make up for long lasting relationships… Effective Communication.

As it stands, we seem to communicate more and communicate less effectively. Since the rise of social media, divorce rates have gone up and sites like Ashley Madison have boosted their subscriptions base even after their site had been hacked. Is social media to blame or is it lack of genuine social communication?

With so many choices and the ease of meeting new people, it’s hard to build investments that us as human beings may not want to walk away from. My point here is that these so-called networks are used more for keeping up with social ties/appearances then they are for building love & relationships.

Whatever way we want to look at it, social media is not to blame… We are. Social media outlets are just tools meant to be used at our discretion. The sad part is that these tools that are supposed to be socially connecting us, might be socially isolating us. This might be the reason why relationships lasted longer in the old days- think about the horse and carriage days; people then needed to wait for weeks to see someone they had a crush on. Or, the days of the telephone- calls overseas were expensive so people were often forced to express themselves in the letter form – pen to paper. The time we had to wait added value to the relationships thus adding value to the time we spent. That time spent was worth something… Quality… Quality > Time.

With social media we now save this time, but what is done with the time we save? We become more social in our interactions through media but less social with our face to face interactions. How many times have we been at the dinner table with friends and instead of our faces being lit with smiles they are being lit by our foolish smart devices. This extra time gives us more options to do more and it seems to make us do less- we’re only spending more time socializing through various media.

So what do we get from all of this?… We create problems, we make mistakes and we use tools to save time thinking that the extra time we are afforded will be given to something more valuable – but, instead we squander our time and savings trying to fulfill another need or void – and more often than not, today we fill those voids with meaningless connections. We inherently need meaningful communication & interactions to build long lasting relationships- so, fewer options, fewer choices and I believe less of a chance of relationship failure. Call me an old soul living in this new social world I guess, but it’s hard to live life with an open hand and closed heart so we need less social media and more “social” ization… See what I did there!