In the almost decade since it’s invaded, and now pervaded our lives, has social media actually made us less sociable?
These days, we’re connected like never before. We own more devices dedicated to giving us screen time, than ever. But being connected isn’t the same as connecting. And that’s where I think a lot of us get confused.
There was a time when friendship required effort. You actually had to go and visit someone. At the very least, you had to pick up the phone and dial their number. These days? Not so much. The same effort that was required to keep friendships going has been replaced with the effort required to scroll down our newsfeeds. That basically tells us everything we need to know. Who went where, what they’re wearing, what they ate and what they thought about it.
What’s the point of calling someone and saying ‘How’s it going?” when you already know because Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram told you?
Whether we like to admit or not, social media has made us lazy (or it’s awakened the inner laziness dormant within us – take your pick). Either way, the cornerstone of a traditionally successful friendship – effort – now no longer feels like it has any relevance. So what impact does that have on our friendships, and on our lives more broadly?
Do we even care? Or are we so consumed with consuming the never ending stream of information, filling our newsfeeds on all the multiple devices we own, that we don’t even notice?
But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom. The question this article is based on is fundamentally flawed. It positions social media as if it were a person. But it’s not. Social media is a tool, a function. Ultimately, we own it, even though sometimes it may feel like it owns us.
And therein lies my hope that we, as human beings, will slowly begin to waken from this socially induced slumber we find ourselves in. We’ll begin to listen to those cravings for real interactions, for touch, for smell, the sound of laughter. All those things that social media tries to emulate, but can’t even begin to compete with.
Social media isn’t evil or bad. Perhaps like any new and shiny thing, we’ve just given it a bit too much of our time and attention. Maybe if we scale back the social media, we’ll find we have more time for actually being social!
What do you think? Feel free to let me know on….social media!