Ever since “social media” became a common expression in everyone’s lives, we have asked ourselves the question about whether our social networking actually makes us less social in real life. It has been said a million times that people who use social networking services are becoming increasingly awkward towards any engagement in the real world. That is a statement that I don’t agree with at all. I have personally seen many examples of people who have actually widened their own circle of real friends by just using social networking as their main tool to connect, interact and befriend people. I have no idea why it would be the cause of people becoming less social in our society. If anything, it’s the computer itself which has lead us to sit in front of a screen and kept us from socializing.
So as you can see, this unfounded statement could potentially set off a wide reaction that would result in an even broader level of online networking. There are of course people who have grown so fond of using their screen as their excuse to actually talk to people in real life that they have become awkward towards any real life interaction, sure. However, I am of the opinion that it is the exceptions that make the rules, if you know what I mean.
Some recent research conducted by Schools (who also created this infographic) goes deeper into this very topic. Their data clearly indicates that because of social media, there are people who have been able to find and connect with people they normally would never have connected with due to them being too shy, or because of other reasons that have kept them from participating in venues and happenings. The world is getting ever more social, but online.
My personal opinion is that we will see distinct clues where we are able to include the virtual into our offline lives more and more. This means we will start incorporating our online life into our very own “real” life and eventually call them the same. There is no point in separating the two since we are now spending over 10.5 billion minutes on Facebook each day. That is a massive amount of time spent on networking and getting updated on what others are doing.
Still, that number doesn’t include the mobile usage of Facebook, which would make it an even higher level of networking. But are we becoming increasingly awkward in our approach to social media? Well, according to this infographic called Is Social Media Making Us Socially Awkward?, which was produced using the data that Schools collected, we are all changing the way we approach social interaction in our real world.
The one thing I find awkward is the fact that as much as 24% of the people using any social networking service have actually missed important moments due to them being preoccupied with their networking. That is a staggering number of people missing out on potentially life changing moments, only to find out about someone’s daily activities or talk to someone they have never met. But at the same time, the statistics doesn’t say whether the person was engaged in something that might have overshadowed that important moment missed with something even more life changing. We could go on and on as you see.
I think the more we evolve in the social networking landscape, we will find a way to marry the two. Our real lives and our virtual lives will seamlessly become one. I don’t think there is a technological advancement needed in order to make this happen. I think it is more about getting used to the fact that we are no longer limited by the distances between us. There are technological solutions that can keep us connected no matter where we are today, so why keep holding back on the way we live just because some people believe humanity is becoming more socially awkward? What is your opinion? Have you become increasingly more nervous about meeting real people just because you are using social media?
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Via: [Daily Infographic]