Why Social Networking Makes Us Less Social

Why Social Networking Makes Us Less Social
Life
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

There was once a time when people would only communicate in person. Although this is before our lifetimes, human beings once had to actually talk to one another — with their mouths! As the world got bigger, those that we wished to talk to no longer resided in the same village, so we had no choice but to write letters.

As technology advanced, our impatience grew — we no longer wished to wait for the mail to arrive by postman or pigeon, we wanted a faster way to talk with our friends and business partners: hence the invention of texting and email. Okay sure, this isn’t an exact history of our advancements in communication, but I think you get the picture: humans were once required to interact in person, while now we very well may have never even met the person we are chatting with.

With the evolution of communication, human relationships are themselves evolving. We now have the ability to maintain friendships with those we know overseas — an instantaneous correspondence that before was impossible. We now have the ability to stay in touch with our friends and family throughout the day without having to spend the time required of traveling to meet them.

We can call, we can text, we can email, we can tweet or send messages via the endlessly expanding list of applications available at any app store. All of this is for the love of convenience. The less time that we spend interacting, the more interactions we can have and the more time that we have for other things. Unfortunately, what many people are slowly coming to realize is that more is not always better; avoiding face-to-face communication has a huge downside.

image

Since there are only so many hours in a day, the more interactions we have in any given day, the shorter those interactions must be. In this day and age, we attempt to make such interactions as quick as manageable, avoiding actual conversations if at all possible. We don’t want to meet in person and we prefer not to have to dial a number and talk over the phone.

It is as if we as a society have gotten together and decided that our breath is not worth wasting and ought to be saved at all cost. Having more “free time,” we end up either filling our day with dozens of these “conversations” or filling the extra time that we have left over with pointless tasks — tasks that would be better avoided altogether. Like watching our stories on TV — or rather, on our computers; we don’t have the time to wait around and watch a show when it airs. We watch it whenever we feel we want to watch it via the Internet.

We no longer converse — we share information. We no longer use words — we use textese, using abbreviations and acronyms. We have concluded that people have nothing more to offer other than information about themselves or the world, and for this reason, we see no reason why we ought to spend time interacting in person.

Why bother going out to dinner when you can either text your friend to see how he is doing or follow him on Twitter and get live updates on his life without even having to make your presence known? Skipping dinner is probably a good idea anyway, seeing as how chances are that you will spend more time with your eyes glued to your smartphone than you will talking… or eating.

Is there not a reason why long distance relationships fail so miserably? Is it only because we have yet to figure out a way to satisfy ourselves sexually via tech gadget? Do long distance relationships not suffer due to lack of in-person interaction? If you have ever been in a long distance relationship that has failed, you know the importance of being physically present in the same room. There is much to be told and heard by use of body language.

tumblr_m4u63fHZcC1r9mbveo1_500

The way a person stands, the way they hold their arms, the eye contact they make or refuse to make all gives us vital information that is lost when all forms of communication are virtual. Even the way a person says something — how quickly and eloquently they say it or the pauses in between words — tells us a lot about their inner workings and true meanings. If you want to know what a person is really feeling and thinking, it is not what they say that matters most, but how they say it.

Our communication skills are slowly shriveling. Oration was once considered a great skill — a skill only reserved for those with wealth, power and titles. Nowadays public speaking seems difficult and the associated skills unnecessary. We can now hold the attention of our audience with PowerPoint presentations — or even better, avoid speaking to a large audience altogether.

As online dating is becoming more and more popular, I would not be surprised if in the next two or three decades, the art of the pick-up will have to be revamped to an online format — and the Kama Sutra tweaked to serve the purpose of cyber sex. We are all trying to avoid the real world and are beginning to forge digital lives that are separate and removed from reality. Maybe this cyber-world is so attractive because it coincides with our belief or hope of a reality outside the physical world. Cyberspace is replacing spirituality.

We no longer stop to smell the roses — in fact, we don’t stop. Our society encourages us to minimize input, maximize efficiency and maximize output — do less and get more. We are under the influence of the false notion that squeezing in 20 micro-conversations into a single day is more fulfilling than one real conversation.

tumblr_mlqvzbyYFC1rghn06o1_500

I mean, we are being social; there are so many people in the world, shouldn’t we try and socialize with as many of them as possible? There is a reason why those who have a handful of closer friends tend to be much happier than those with many shallow friendships. It’s not the quantity that matters, but the quality.

A proper relationship requires time to grow and develop. Friendship is not only the sharing of thoughts and information, but the act of experiencing things together. Communication becomes more diluted the more virtual we go. Luckily, I do believe this to be not more than a phase — a phase that human kind will leave just as quickly as we entered.

As can be seen on many social networking platforms, people are getting bored. We are beginning to realize that we don’t really give a sh*t what Sally ate for breakfast, nor do we actually want to know where Steve got alcohol poisoning last night — probably because we have never met either of them. We will all come back around to living life the way it should be lived: in this reality. The question is whether or not we will remember how to use our words when such a time comes.

social-media-explained-1
Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Paul Hudson

A young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur, Paul Hudson (@MrPaulHudson) has been writing for Elite Daily nearly since the start. Currently located in Manhattan, Paul Hudson primarily devotes his time between writing for Elite Daily and a mining startup in Turkey. He loves sharing his life experiences with his readers and makes sure to practice what he preaches.

More In Life

Life WildSpiceMag

How Self-Care Has Become An Act Of Rebellion For This Generation

At some point between work, chores, laundry and unreturned emails, it dawns on me that I no longer remember what it feels like to not be overwhelmed. The way the perpetual “next thing” nips at my heels and the steady rhythm of “to-dos” pound through my head, is part of the fabric of the day. […]

Motivation Joshua Eferighe

We All Have A Gift: How To Cultivate The Genius Inside You

When Mozart was 14, he transcribed a coral setting of Psalm 50 composed in the early 1600s. A feat worth mentioning not only for his youth, but because this piece in particular was previously never written down. It was forbidden to transcribe, and it was allowed to be performed only at particular services; meaning, after […]

Life Leonardo Faria

New You, New Life: 4 Steps To Reinventing The Person In The Mirror

You look at yourself in the mirror and don’t recognize the person in the reflection. You do not like the person you are today and shudder at the mere thought of your past self. Often feeling depressed, frustrated or angry, you feel like you’re wasting your life. It’s time for a reinvention! Grab three pieces […]

Motivation Derek Neumeier

The Key To Handling Negative Circumstances Lies Within Your Reaction

We’ve all had something negative happen in our lives. You’re feeling stressed, depressed, lonely or maybe even experiencing a revolving door of these and other debilitating emotions. You normally don’t have much of an affinity towards ice cream, but all of a sudden, you’re craving some Ben & Jerry’s. Maybe you’ll pick up a couple of […]

Also On Elite

Women

#TBT: 12 Stores Every Girl Visited When She Was A Teenage Mall Rat

As tweenagers (blech, I hate that word), the mall wasn’t just a place to buy new clothes and follow your mom around — it was the watering hole of teenage society where everyone congregated, identity was established and sh*t. went. down. We were teenage mall rats. We were proud of the fact that we could […]

World

The Chilling Moment A Girl Is Kidnapped And Dragged To Her Wedding (Video)

Everyone laughed when Sacha Baron Cohen kidnapped Pamela Anderson to be his wife in the 2006 hit movie “Borat,” but how many viewers would have laughed if they had realized the custom of kidnapping women and forcing them into marriage is, for some, a reality? A video recently surfaced which depicts the real, horrifying tradition […]

Women

Miss Independent: 7 Things A Girl Learns When Moving Out On Her Own

Goodbyes are never easy, just ask my parents. I landed a new job far enough away from home where I either had to battle through a four-hour round trip commute each day or rent an apartment. I went with the latter of the two. I moved in to my cozy new home about two weeks ago […]

World

Cabbie Unknowingly Picks Up Tom Hanks And Receives Broadway Tickets

Tom Hanks seems like a pretty great guy, especially for being a big-time Hollywood actor. This story only lends credence to that assertion. According to a post on the Humans of New York blog, Hanks befriended a cab driver. The cab driver unknowingly picked up Hanks and the two hit it off. At first, the […]

Sex

The Truth About Soul Mates Is That You Can Have More Than One

We have been taught by fairytales and Nicholas Sparks films to associate the term “soul mate” with one person we are destined to meet by the work of fate. From there, we fall madly in love and upkeep this romantic love forever. But, that is not what a true soul mate is. This mentality that […]

TV

Bill Murray Singing Christmas Carols On TV Will Make Your Holiday

Bill Murray is pretty much the sweetest, gentlest guy around, so it’s no surprise he’s cooking up something heartwarming for the holidays. Murray is working with Sofia Coppola on a Christmas special in which Murray will sing Christmas carols on television. Doesn’t that just sound delightful? Hell, I’m Jewish, and I’m totally into it. But, […]