So, Enough of the MOJO posts like sex and petunias and makeup…It’s time for a…
The Social Media explosion…is it good for the human race or bad?
Facebook, Twitter, Triberr, Google, and MySpace are some of the more popular. But they are just the cream of some of the other 206 sites listed online…Academia.edu, aNobii, Black Planet, Buzznet, Flicker, Gays.com, Vampirefreaks.com, Pinterest, wooxi, The Sphere…and so on and so on and so on.
There are social media sites for all ages and all interests. Technology is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? We have access to people and information and group support that we would never have had before the technological boom in the Nineteen Eighties. It’s a wonderful way of sharing information.
But are we sharing ourselves?
When I was in my teens, if I wanted to talk to my friends, I had to walk to their house and talk in person, see them in school or call them on a rotary phone (with a 2 foot spiral cord that allowed no privacy for conversations what-so-ever). My words as well as my voice, my intonations – most often my body language – was part of my social interaction. I was perceived as a sum of all my parts: physical, mental, and emotional. It was never just about the words.
Somehow, I can’t see Harry getting the full effect of Sally’s Big O conversation
Is social media helping us as human beings or hurting us?
Human beings need social and physical interaction. We are a ‘pack critter.’ We need human interaction to fulfill our psycho-social needs. We need real human interaction to grow. Social isolation is detrimental to our emotional health.
But isn’t being on Facebook considered social?
Many of us, being writers or lovers of the written word, know how difficult it is to portray in a sentence exactly what we want to say, or what we want our reader to hear, feel, and experience. So, is social media and a dependency on nothing but the written word a good thing for society?
I’m thinking, not so much.
School districts are looking into saving money by creating online schooling options for grades K-12. Colleges are already doing this.
What will children learn by sitting home alone taking all their classes online? Reading. Writing. Arithmetic.
What happens to the important lessons children need to learn, at this important time in their development, to become productive members of society?
Coping Mechanisms, handling conflict when another student cuts in line, dealing with disappointment when the lunch menu changes, diffusing confrontation when another student calls the child a name, sharing toys, teamwork on class projects, compassion when another child sits at the desk next to them and cries? What happens to all these important lessons?
You can’t teach these things online…these things need to be experienced face to face. Parents may want to protect their children from everything, pave the way so there are no challenges or upsets in the child’s life, but this is not beneficial to anyone. Life needs to be lived and children need to learn from experience and guidance how to handle the bumps in the road.
How easy is it for a kid to post a ‘nasty gram’ to 72 people to share, without feeling the repercussion or seeing the face of the other kid for whom the nasty gram is targeted? How beneficial is it for kids to sit and post picture after picture of themselves in the hopes of inciting 27 ‘likes’ for the sake of an ego boost?
This wouldn’t be such a such an easy conversations to have in person…
Adults, many living solitary lives, will certainly increase their contacts and their access to information, but what is going to be the fall-out of this convenience of online socializing, shopping, paying bills, banking…?
I have a dear neighbor, Ms. X…a single middle-aged woman, overweight, shy, very few friends. In the past 5 years, after buying her first computer, she has become addicted to social websites. Her favorite – shopping sites. She has not seen her refrigerator in over 11 months due to the hoarding of package after package. I needed to clear a pathway for her so we could find the source of a smell that began to permeate from the months of leftover food in her fridge and on her counters.
This poor thing had put herself into a self-induced technological isolation. Her children didn’t visit, she chose computer socialization over personal invitations by her co-workers and friends. She became a captive of her own obsession.
Now, this isn’t to say this would happen to all people, but how many other Ms. X’s are out there? People who spend hours on the computer instead of walking outside, conversing face to face, attending social events, doing charity work…
Social Media has definitely put Americans in a technological stupor. We’re developing generations of children who are emotionally cut off from each other.
Children are capable of feeling little or no remorse over cyber bullying, teasing, insulting, and berating all because when the texter/poster is not present to receive ‘the whole effect’ of the person they are intending the words for, they become protected from the human emotion invoked. By ‘whole effect’ I mean the body language, facial expressions, immediate emotional response with which we learn from.
It’s a ‘SHOW DON’T TELL’ lesson for all of us.
Live life away from your computer as much as you can and reap the benefits of some real human contact. Sometimes painful, sometimes pleasurable, but most definitely necessary for the good of the whole.
What are your thoughts? Are we destined for a technological meltdown? Is all this technology making the world a better place?
Do you think growing up before the techno-boom prepared us to be better members of society than growing up now?
And don’t get me going on what the government knows about you from your online presence. We’ll save that for another post.
Stay real…Love you all, Josie