I RECENTLY WATCHED the YouTube video Look Up. It is about how we as a society now spend more time on social media via technology then we do with our family and friends. Verbal face-to-face interaction has been substituted with text messages, Facebook statuses, Twitter tweets and Instagram posts. We are now more likely to stay updated with our friends and families via social media instead of gatherings or phone calls.We rely on technology so much now that we often miss precious moments. In my experience, dinners are no longer focused on spending time with family and friends around the table engaging in conversation with one another. Instead, people text or update their social media accounts. We have become afraid to approach someone for conversation or even befriend someone while waiting for a bus or striking up a conversation at a coffeehouse for fear of seeming weird or intrusive. All of this leads me to believe that social media isn’t really all that social.
There are many people who defend social media and technology, and I can agree with some of their arguments. Social media allows us to keep up with the lives of our friends and families in a more simplistic and convenient way. Instead of making a long distance call to a relative just to see how they are doing, you can simply look on their Facebook page. Social media also enables us to share some of our most special moments with our families, friends and the world.I will admit it is great to have the opportunity to share so many special moments in our lives in a broadcast manner, but how special are these moments if we are ignoring those who are with us in those moments? I hear more and more people say they feel alone. I can understand this sentiment because the norm is to not be fully engaged in a conversation or fully connect. Instead, the norm is to be texting or updating a social media status as you are talking to others. Likewise, the norm is parenting through social media or some type of electronic device.
Social media is not totally negative. There are many positives and many ways in which it makes our lives more convenient, but where is the line? Even though we are able to capture and share many important moments, not every little moment needs to be shared with the world. Let’s try putting cell phones, laptops and iPads away to really enjoy life in the moment. Instead of texting during an intimate dinner, let’s stare into each other’s eyes. Rather than relying on an iPad to entertain the children, let’s take them to the park and allow them the joys that we had as children. It is time for some balance. Let’s stop being a generation of smart phones and silly people and start learning to coexist.
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