Touched for the Very First Time: Rise of Social Media & Death of Physical Connections

index1When was the last time you decided to go over to someone’s place instead of texting them or snap chatting or even sending a message on Facebook to see what they were doing or to catch up with them? In this digital world we have been rerouted to be more apt in choosing connections made through social media outlets then connecting in the physical world. As a society we have replaced the face to face utilizing our senses kind of physical relationships with a multifaceted social media relationship because of the convenience and ability to make multiple connections at one time. But that is leaving the need to have those physical connections with individuals grasping for life. Lenna O in the article on WebFly “What are Psychological Effects of Social Media” asks and answers the main problem, “Are our digital lives more important than our real ones? It’s undeniable: We’re hooked on social media, and this trend is not going away anytime soon.”
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To dive into this deeper you really do not even need to look at it in depth because it is so blatant and out there that if you’re missing the signs of this problem, well that’s probably because you are lost in social media and you should definitely keep reading on. The immersion of social media on people in society is drying out the need to hug someone, to be in their presence, to see their face in the present, to connect through nonsocial cues and creating a world that depicts that you can get all that from a picture or message on the computer or phone. An example that I think everyone has witnessed before is either being out with someone or seeing others out together where the people are lost in their phones and not even communicating with the person that is right in front of them but having an in depth convo with someone over Facebook or twitter. The art of communication, the ability to speak to someone directly or to exchange a physical connection is becoming the dinosaur of our time, extinct. The younger ages are growing up without knowing or understanding what is so bad about that while we are losing the need for what was once the most important need of human physical and personal connection to the war of words or images across a screen that gives the façade feeling that you have that connection when in reality the only connection you have is with your device. Chloe Anderson-Dixon of the Western Eye states, “Statistics show that a shocking 57% of people using social networking sites talk to more people online than in real life.” That is more than half of everyone on social networks losing the interest and connection of what real life relationships should be and how important they are in creating and balancing a working life.
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The shocker is that we as people in this society think we gain so much from running our lives through social media that we are able to be in the know 24/7, regain and make new connections with others, and create a world that allows us to multitask efficiently. While some of those statements are true to a certain degree, we are losing the ability to be humans who use our senses, have a need for physical communication/connection and are passing up the daily real life activities happening in front of us. We are moving more to robotic stage of communication. J. Maureen Henderson of Forbes says, “Online is no substitute for offline,” and “Almost a quarter of Americans say that they’ve missed out on important life moments in their quest to capture and memorialize them for social media. Think about that the next time you’re Instagraming your anniversary dinner at P.F. Chang’s.”
There is no slowing down of the social media movement but there needs to be a rebirth of the personal communication through physical connection or at least rekindle a good balance between them. The statistics are too high for society to not realize that we are losing how to be a fully functional human to apps that let you snap your face for 10 seconds at a time. People are so concerned about the information that it has made up for the lack of the physical connections, touch is not even needed anymore, why, because there are emojis for that.
-Shawn Woolley

Suggested Reading
http://www.webfly.com/what-are-the-psychological-effects-of-social-media/
http://www.westerneye.net/comment/2012/10/is-social-media-taking-over-our-lives/
http://haydenhub.org/?p=6561
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaureenhenderson/2012/12/29/3-reasons-you-should-quit-social-media-in-2013/

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