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Is social networking making us socially retarded?

Updated on March 28, 2014

There is to much networking and not enough socializing

Source

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.

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

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    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 

      5 years ago

      Great hub! I have really enjoyed "meeting" people such as yourself here on HubPages, but it's true, it's not the same as getting together with you for lunch. We certainly can improve our emotional and physical well-being by connecting face to face with people or, second-best, calling on the phone or hand-writing a letter.

      Voted useful and interesting, and shared (with other Hubbers- I actually don't do Facebook, etc.for the reasons you mentioned, plus others.)

    • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca 

      5 years ago from USA

      LOL no kidding! Any mail that is not a bill is great! And thanks.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 

      5 years ago from Glasgow

      Lol same, but we have recognised this, and that's a step in the right direction! That's a shame about your gran :( Hope you find a nice penpal, a wee envelope or postcard really does cheer up my day sometimes!! Especially when I realise that its not a bill! Good luck!

    • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca 

      5 years ago from USA

      I'm socially retarded too. But I'm working on it. I used to write letters with my 96 year old grandmother until her arthritis got so bad she had to stop, plus I think she's off her rocker now. But I miss it. I'm considering finding a penpal again. Thanks for your comment!

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 

      5 years ago from Glasgow

      Great hub! I have believed for years that all this social networking has had a detrimental effect on our "real" relationships. I wrote a hub on it, but i was more vague. I love how in depth this hub has went, and the tips are great! I have 4 penpals at the moment, and we ONLY correspond via post, despite having each other on facebook etc. I think it's a much nicer, more traditional way of getting to know each other, and makes people more inclined to remember the information given because of the period of time in between each letter. Voted up and interesting!

    • WTF World profile image

      WTF World 

      5 years ago from Earth

      I was socially retarded long before social media.

    • ericdunbar profile image

      Eric Dunbar 

      5 years ago from New Orleans

      Amen Bishop55.

    • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca 

      5 years ago from USA

      What a great reply! And I agree. I met my husband the good old natural way, and even though we are in the early phases of marriage, I would never want to have read a profile and met through a website (although love can happen that way on wonderful levels). Social networking has it's place, I won't argue that! But we need to get back to some real life communication, add it back to our every day communication.

    • ericdunbar profile image

      Eric Dunbar 

      5 years ago from New Orleans

      Social Networking is a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing as well. Here's why...

      The good:

      Social Networking is advantageous in that it gives us fast reliable news (sometimes) when mainstream media cannot be on site to inform us.

      It can connect people with other people, in terms of types and groups, likes and dislikes.

      Social Networking can give one a sense of communion (fellowship, being needed, and liked), but this can be misleading.

      The bad:

      Social Networking cannot replace genuine relationships--the kind that are naturally formed, like boy meets girl in a park, on a train, on in a supermarket. I met my wife in a drug store and we have been married for 14 years now. I am not saying that Social Networking cannot bring people together, but it is so much more fun the natural way.

      We have become a society of button pushers. There is something fascinating about pushing those buttons and screens that can trap us in a superficial world.

      How many people do you know that can start a fire without a match or a cigarette lighter. or catch a meal, or survive a night under the stars? Social Networking has caused us to implode and choose only that which we want and reject that which we do not want, and this is not good. If we don't have to deal with it, we can ignore it or destroy it But that's not the way it is in the real world.

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