Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Social Media and Relationships

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook, and it reminded me of something I saw a couple of months ago. While I was out having dinner with my mother, there was a family of 4 sitting at the table next to us. Dad was on his phone talking to someone, Mum was swiping at the screen of her phone, little boy was watching a cartoon on a tablet, and little girl was also engrossed with her phone. No one was talking to each other. I thought it was a little sad, seeing a seemingly complete family ignoring each other over Sunday dinner. Being the sad, nosey parker that I am, I observed them on and off for a while.

When their food arrived, they started putting their gadgets away. Sadly though, the longest sentence uttered throughout dinner was, "Pass us the salt, please."As soon as they finished eating, out the gadgets came, until Dad stood up a few minutes later and said, "Come on, home time."

This is how the cool kids hang out now.
Image courtesy of
[Ambro] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What have we done to our relationships? A lot of people have gotten far too attached to their phones and tablets. It's as if some of us don't know how to have an actual conversation with others anymore, especially our younger generation. Have we turned ourselves into social cripples, or has communication evolved so much that it has transcended the need for verbal communication?

It's not only our relationships that are so affected, but also our experiences, be it the mundane or the exciting once-in-a-lifetime ones. We are so quick to jump on the social mediums in order to post a photo of today's coffee, or share a video of something extraordinary... so quick to whip out or phones and cameras to record these events that we actually don't see it for ourselves, because we're so busy staring at the gadget in our hand to make sure it's recording.

I'll admit, I'm guilty of this. But why do we do it? Is it to ultimately elicit envy in others by showing
Image courtesy of 
[adamr] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
off? Why do we have this need to share every single thing?

I think I'll try going a day without my phone, my tablet, and any social media. It might be nice to fully immerse myself in my social interactions, and actually be 'present' in my experiences. Even though all day I'll be thinking, "I can't wait to put this up on Facebook and blog about it!"

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