A little while back, I hosted the first DA Event #DAPicnic where I got to meet a lot of people I connect with online, offline. I like to think of myself as a somewhat social being but I totally dislike ‘plastic’ relationships – you know, the kind of relationship that has no real value or meaning and just exists for the sake of existing. Yep! Those kind of relationships.
So I set up the picnic to meet up with a few of you and discuss a topic that had been on my mind for a long while…
Has social media made us infact more anti-social?
I did a lot of research online to get various views on the topic from both sides of the spectrum and in all honestly, by the time I was done, I was completely torn… I didn’t know which side I belonged to.
On the YES, it has made us more anti-social side of things, people argue that because of social media, you don’t really need to go out and ‘socialize’ as those before our generation had to when they were our age. We can find out most of the information we need to know about people in our circle from the back of a computer or phone screen – i.e. with little or no human interaction at all. Most people also prefer to stay glued to their phones at social gatherings, such as a family dinner, weddings and so on. They rather ‘socialise’ with other people online when they could otherwise be social with those physically around them … Which is True right?… hmmm
On the NO, it hasn’t made us more anti-social side of things, some people say that it actually helps create talking points, such as new internet crazes #turninoninow, when you meet someone in person for the first time. Hence, it makes your meeting offline more social. You are also able to keep up with a lot more people than you normally would be able to because of how busy we are these days. People also argue that social media helps create a new environment for relationships that otherwise wouldn’t exist to exist and bloom… Which is also true right?
See why I didn’t know which side of the fence to stay on?
It was a long and interesting discussion with everyone giving their point of view on the topic and some even expressed concerns about how the generation after ours will handle social interactions. Others cautioned on us blaming social media for our anti-social nature today and explained how Social media only helps express who you really are inside, a bit better. That all said, there were a few points that really struck me and made it all come together…
Yes social media may be all the things we say but at the end of the day, it is just social media and we have the ability to manage and control how we use it and what it does to us. We can either choose to be on our phones when we go out with friends, or decide to ‘logout’ and login to physical conversations – It is all in our control. We can also decide to use social media to build new relationships by converting those conversations we have online to offline conversations and meet people in person OR we can choose to leave those conversations in the virtual world – It’s all a choice.
Whether or not you become anti-social or more social as a result of social media is up to you and totally dependent on your real personality. Come to think of it, should an app that you can easily delete dictate how your social life turns out to be? Nope! I don’t think so…
Social media is a beautiful thing and if used wisely can help you build some solid and very meaningful relationships… I mean, how else would I have met all 20-something plus guests that made it to the event? How else would you the reader have gotten to know about Demi Akin?
Yes, if used wrongly and ALLOWED to take over our being, it can become detrimental to us as social beings but the bottom line is, it is all a choice.
The power to be more social or become anti-social, as a result of owning an account on twitter, instagram, facebook, snapchat or whatever other social media platform you signed up to is all in your hands!