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Is Social Media Really Anti-Social?

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Is Social Media Really Anti-Social?

Is Social Media Really Anti-Social

This question has been raised so many times, but have you really ever stopped to think about it?  I’ve given this plenty of thought lately, and given the amount of exploration and personal experience with social media, I must say the jury is still out as to whether social media is indeed causing us to be anti-social.

While I do acknowledge that my perspectives are purely personal and based mainly on observation, I’m leaning towards a belief that social media does not incline us to create a social bubble around our lives and experiences. Here’s why I’m coming to this belief based on my back-story which is stacked with 22 years of computer experience. I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the internet unfold, social media develop and raised two children who are completely unaffected by it all.

Let me expound on the last sentence. My kids were raised in a home where I used technology daily and nightly too. I have to admit, I was thoroughly obsessed with it. I was newly 40 when I decided to finish my education by attaining both my undergrad and graduate degrees. During that time, computing was coming into its own with nearly every lab and classroom focused on developing computer skills. I remember sitting in the computer lab until 3 AM some evenings. I had to be obsessed! I had no choice if I wanted to do well.

I was exposed to various levels of classes that allowed me to develop my skills with coursework consisting of media graphics, website development and coding, teaching technology, and various multi-media classes. Remember, social media was in its infancy if barely noticeable at all. No one walked around with their cell phones looking down at Facebook or Twitter. It just didn’t exist. I completed my graduate work in 2002 and Facebook was created in 2004 and Twitter in 2006.

Both my kids watched me spend endless hours on a computer and their interest in computing was almost non-existent. Today, both my kids do not have a social media presence and couldn’t care less about it. Mind you, they are in their 30’s. What’s that you say? Yes, they live their lives not giving a hoot about social media. Of course, they use computers but for practical reasons which consist of research, checking out various websites, and education. I’ve also noted that their close circle of friends

I would like to think I’m a pretty social person, and I enjoy socializing both on and off the net. I’m not obsessed with social media by any stretch of the imagination. Please remember this is my experience based on my observations and research. I will agree with one glaring fact I noticed about Facebook. (At times, I’m pretty immersed in using social media because I blog, and it’s important I reach as many social butterflies as possible to spread the word about my blog.)

Facebook does impact many of its users in what can be perceived as in a negative way because people tend to benchmark themselves against what they are seeing others post. There’s been a lot in the press about this topic. I used to be guilty of this myself when suddenly I found my timeline cluttered with images of other people’s fantastic lives, family, and travel escapades.

I couldn’t help but think, why isn’t my life as fabulous as theirs? Then, reality set it. I thought, well, it really is this is my life and it’s just different! I started to become very grateful for what I have, and for my family, and our moments that weren’t captured for posting.

Suddenly, it all made sense to me, and I stopped the benchmarking. These moments we see are but seconds out of a person’s life. It only takes a few seconds to snap a picture or vlog an experience to be shared or remembered. Did you ever stop to think that maybe people like to capture the good moments because unfortunately at times there are so many bad ones?

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Royalty-free image http://www.pexels.com/

I’m not blind to the fact that there are many folks who are obsessed with social media, or vlogging or taking pictures of their food to share with their friends. Heck, I do it! I think it’s important to remember that like everything else, moderation is key here.

It’s not healthy to obsess over anything with one caveat – I learned from experience that when we are learning something new, we tend to be a bit obsessive at first and then without us noticing, our obsession calms itself and we are then able to use what we’ve learned wisely, and integrate into our lives in a manageable way.

You can make an argument about our obsession with television. How many times were we warned about the dangers of watching too much TV? I don’t know a single soul who sits in front of the TV all day. Do you?

Nearly every article I’ve read lately features a piece on how social media is ruining our lives. I see loads of rappers, actors, and folks like you and I, creating videos about the dangers of social media. This I find ironic. They are using social media to warn us about social media. They state, taking the social out of social media is vital, yet the videos are a glaring contradiction of the ego. It’s all about them, isn’t it?

Rapper rapping about how damaging social-media is. Closing in on close to a million views.

Very dramatic video about anti-social media with over 46 million views!

If you check YouTube and search for anti-social media videos, you get About 260,000 results!

Maybe I’m biased because of my love for technology. Maybe I’m not young enough to get it. Maybe I’m smart enough to not get roped in by it. I think we shouldn’t make a huge deal over the potentially damaging effects of social media and how our lives are passing us by because we immerse ourselves in it and enjoy it.

I have faith that humans will filter through the nonsense, through the selfies and endless ego-driven tweets. They just need time to sort things out. It’s like mining for gold. You spend countless hours looking for the nuggets, then you take them, and move on and enjoy the riches.

What’s your take on social media? I’d love to hear your voices!

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21 Comments

  1. I love social media and am hooked to it. HOWEVER, I do disconnect and spend time with others a lot too. I make sure to give quality time when I can to others in my life. I love to meet new people everywhere I go IN PERSON. I have actually wrote a blog post about this topic on my blog using this same video a while back now.

  2. I’m smart enough to not get roped in by it as well. I think that those people that so anti social media should take it likes the news with a grain of salt. I don’t believe everything i see in the news just like social media. But what I do like no love about it is the reach it has. I’ve gotten back in touch with some very amazing friends that I had lost touch with due to lifes twist & turns. I love that I can log into fb and see how there kids have grown. How proud they now are to be becoming grandparents like myself. So I myself am hoping social media is around for the rest of my life anyway. That is my two cents and I will now get off my soap box.

  3. Great point Anj – that is one of the reasons I lean a bit more to the left on this topic. It’s a great way to stay in contact with loved ones and make new friends. If it weren’t for social media I would have never had the privilege of meeting you and Sue! It’s all about perspective.
    thanks much,
    Carolann XO

  4. Hey Crystal – always a pleasure hearing from you. Your points are exactly what I’m talking about here. As long as you can disconnect and spend time in “reality” then you are good to go. Oh wow I have to check your post out now! Looking forward to reading it.
    Carolann XO

  5. What you describe is true Carolyn. Social media is a valid form of today’s communication, When used in proper perspectiv e, it expands our worlds: past, present and future. I believe that most people are in control and use it wisely. Those who aren’t will find another negative use of their time. I love social media for the ease it brings to my life in many areas.

  6. Hi Debbie and thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I see we are on the same page about this topic! It’s nice to know that there are many of us who can use and enjoy social media without having it consumes our lives. I hope to hear from you again soon! Enjoy the day!
    Carolann XO

  7. Hi Victoria! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! Yes exactly! Social-media is great when used wisely although we all tend to slip now and then lol. I see we are on exactly the same page about this topic! I’m looking forward to reading your post about How to make time for your online business! Going there now! Thanks so much and hope to see you again real soon!
    Carolann XO

  8. I admit I am very much roped in to social media. At home, on my phone, heck even at work. With that being said, My family does come first. We do things “unplugged” as often as we can. Never allow cell phones during family time (unless I have blog pictures to take right before dinner then all bets are off haha) I think if you can distribute your time to the real world a bit more than the online world then why not be active in both places. I’ve met some great friends via the web. Some i’ve never even met in person. But would be lost without the daily interaction with them.

  9. Hey Heather, always great hearing from you! I agree…as long you your priorities are first then let social-media kick in and have fun! I know exactly what you mean about taking pics while cooking lol. I don’t think that counts lol. I know right? Social-media has more pluses than negatives that’s for sure. You have a great perspective on it!
    Carolann XO

  10. Love this article you wrote Carolann. I agree with so much you have to say and your reader’s comments too. This is yet another great post that should be shared on a large format like an online newspaper.

  11. Great post (and I’m so glad I stopped in today because I question this all the time myself). I’ve made social media my career over the years but it’s also something I enjoy using on a daily basis to connect with friends/family far and wide. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I use it as a replacement tool for the relationships in my life. I’m in my mid 30s, no children, living with my bf, and I would say I have a healthy social life. I think it’s important to disconnect whenever possible, and I try to remind myself of that often. Also I think it’s great that your children show no interest in SM–it’s refreshing to hear! That “Look Up” video gets me every time. I think there’s a bit of a divide with younger generations who have a harder time putting down their phones, but maybe that’s just me.

    Thanks for this!

  12. Hi Charlotte! Thanks much for your insightful comment. Your experiences with social-media is exactly what I was talking about – a healthy balanced use of it. You are exactly correct – it’s not a replacement tool but rather a way to keep in touch and connect with friends and loved ones. I do realize that some folks use it non-stop and that’s when it becomes unhealthy. BTW – I’m enjoying reading your blog and am going though some of your favorites today! Have a great weekend and hope to see you again soon!
    Carolann XO

  13. My three daughters — 32, 30 and 29 — are far less visible on social media than I am. But I’m a blogger and writer, and social media is a MUST. I love it and I hate it. I hate it when people stare at their phones; I love it when it connects me to my grandchildren.

    As in all things, moderation is key. We need to LIVE in order to have interesting things to share on social media. I’ve recently pledged to live more, post less.

  14. I look at it as fun and I don’t get caught up in the fabulous only photos of exotic vacations and incredibly adorable kids and grand kids. Since I run an online business, I need to have a presence. What surprises me is the 20 or 30 somethings who think their Moms are computer illiterate yet I see them shopping my website at 2 or 3 in the morning all by themselves successfully.

  15. Hi Lisa! I agree 100% with you on that! I can’t stand when people are eating and stare at their phones the whole time. I guess it’s like anything else. There are people that abuse it and those that don’t! Thanks so much for stopping by.
    Carolann

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