Is social networking making us socially retarded?
There is to much networking and not enough socializing
Are you a social retard?
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Overwhelmed with technology
Our current technological world allows us to communicate with millions of people all day long, any time of day, all over the world. Social networking has its perks for sure, but is all this constant chatter and updating really making us more social? I don't think so.
Before I joined Facebook, I was pretty active on a site that many remember as Myspace. I've met some really great people all over the world and even on vacations that social networking sites allowed me to remain in contact with. I even had some great blind dates before I met my husband. These sites can be great for networking and generating leads for business, but as for adding to our place in society and functioning with others in the real world, this is a completely different story.
We are bombarded with data every day. And lets face it, texting and emailing does not constitute a "real live relationship" or "conversation", we can carefully choose how the world sees us by comfortably hiding behind our profile pages. Hiding our body language. Communicating via the web is not very real communication at all. In real life interaction, you can't edit the wrong comment, you don't look as perfect as your profile photo, and you miss out on genuine interaction. Not to mention, no one really cares what your status update claims you ate for breakfast. Or that your really excited about a new movie that you won't even go see. I mean who are we really talking to on Facebook? Ourselves?
I think social networking has its place in the world and it can be very beneficial, but it is also giving the world and our youth unrealistic views of how communication should be.
I couldn't have said it better
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Days gone by
When was the last time you actually dialed your phone (heaven forbid a land line) and actually had a meaningful conversation with someone on the other end? Text conversations don't count, albeit convenient.
When was the last time you sat down and wrote a loved one a letter? Or knocked on your neighbors door to ask how they were doing? How about the last time you grabbed a cup of coffee with a friend? Collecting friends on Facebook does not count, and how many of those "friends" do you actually know in real life circumstances and spend time with on a regular basis? Or have even met face-to-face? Not many I'd guess.
To avoid loneliness and social retardation we need to do some things
Start doing these things again and start interacting with the real live world
- Limit your Social Networking time to 4 hours a WEEK, you can do it.
- Send a buddy, pal, or even your parent a postcard or thoughtful hand written letter!
- Call your family, friends, and kids (if they are grown and have moved out)!
- Help a neighbor, pick a task, offer a cup of tea or coffee, have a real life conversation.
- If you're crazy about a hobby, start a group meeting with real people. This can include Facebook friends, but must be live. Do you love to read? Create a book club. Host "potluck" dinner parties if you love to cook, have people over to exercise, start a walking group, you get the idea.
- Get out of your house! Leave the cell phones, laptops and tablets at home, go shopping! Take up a new hobby like dancing, bowling, hiking, volunteer, anything!
Technology has its place, but so does good old fashioned communication!
© 2013 Rebecca