Have you ever looked around at people when out in public? Have you considered your own conduct when socializing with others? What about the way you make and maintain friendships? We have become a society in which a large portion of our social interactions are electronically based.
I think there is both a positive and a negative to this development. Social media…blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Stumble On, etc. are all great places for exchanging information and keeping in touch with others. Social media is especially helpful in allowing families to stay in touch when they reside in various spots around the country and/or world. I spend a fair amount of time on Facebook and Pinterest so I am not at all opposed to it, but I do have some concerns.
People are losing the ability and/or willingness to deal with people on a personal level. They are unable to tuck their cell phones away and simply have a meal or conversation without repeatedly checking their phone. Not because they are receiving phone calls, but because they are viewing their media feed, texting, posting articles, or other such activities.
I will admit to on occasion doing the “check-in” post letting my friends know where I am at and/or what I am doing. Pictures of meals, selfies of people and who they are dining with have become common place. People don’t sit at a table and converse with each other, they sit across from each other, each on their phones a/k/a social media.
A couple years ago my husband and I were in a restaurant that was quite busy and we had to wait for our table. I was looking around the restaurant and I mentioned to him that he and I looked very out of place. The reason being we were the only two people in the entire restaurant, both the dining and bar areas, who were not on our phones. We were talking to each other instead! That is sad….people are losing the human connection.
It has gone so far that some restaurants have pads attached to the tables for games, order placing, paying bills, etc. No human interaction. What kind of message is this sending to our youth, and what will the overall affect be on society?
There is nothing on social media that cannot wait. If your family really needs to reach you they will call. The jokes, posts, news articles, photographs, and more that are posted on a regular basis do not have to be reviewed every ten minutes, thirty minutes, or hour. If you miss a few the world is not going to come to a screeching halt. Heck, people have become so self-absorbed they probably won’t even realize you are missing.
So what should you do instead? Take a break. Go to dinner, have a conversation, go for a walk, and don’t check your phone and/or post for at least an hour or two. At first it may seem difficult, depending on how much of an addict you are. However I would be willing to bet that you will find it refreshing and strive for more unconnected periods of time. You may end up like me, wondering why people can’t just step away at least a few hours a day.