Quite recently I saw the following video on Facebook regarding how much we use and rely on Social Media in our daily lives, from when we are at home to when we are out and about – and it strikes very true. How often do you see people out in the street, in the pubs and clubs, parents pushing the pushchairs all with their faces glued to the blue/green glow of the mobile screens – it does seem like these devices have totally taken over the everyday.
This video really spoke to me, and made me realise just how much I would very much like to delete my Facebook profile, about how much I myself use these things… but there is a big “but”. I very much dislike social media, from Facebook to Twitter, Tumblr, whatever I do dislike it. A few years ago I did fully delete my Facebook, and it was nice but it was also very lonely for the one simple fact that my friends are accessible on there. I have friends from all over the world, and whether we talk every year, or get together online for the annual Eurovision Song Contest [which I was planning to blog about but to be honest haven’t found the time. Needless to say that I am thrilled that Austria won for this very simple reason: There is over a BILLION people in Europe, and whether they all voted or not, they chose a man, dressed as a woman, to win. They chose a transgender/ gender neutral person over all the other normal acts, even though they had the option of voting for France… which ultimately makes me hopeful that if everyone who is eligible to vote in the upcoming European elections actually did vote, we would be able to make real change to the European institution].
Studies show [I won’t list them, if you wanted to know I’m sure Google will display a plethora for you] that the more people use social media, to the point of addiction, that it affects the psychology of a person in that they are unable to connect to people in real life – that they barely scratch the surface of genuine and needed real life interaction. I think this more prevalent in young people – a friend of mind said that a young cousin of theirs could use a computer like a whiz, but unable to write on paper in anything but scruffy capital letters. Are we bringing up a generation of people unable to write properly, to connect consciously and have meaningful relationships with people in the name of technology and being connected? Children are going into schools able to use an iPad, or iPhone [an electronic babysitter, perhaps?] but not knowing basic alphabets or numbers. It’s interesting, and a little scary for what the future holds for the next generation.
I know it seems a bit counter-intuitive writing about this particular topic, then posting it to my blog – a social platform – and then sharing that blog with my Facebook friends, but then there is this:
The reason that I keep my Facebook profile is for the friends that I don’t talk to in the everyday – which to be fair is most of them. But that being said, it has allowed myself and the friends that I met online oh so many years ago [2007, I think] to organise something that I didn’t think possible – and that is an actual meeting up of friends – these people that I have never met but are actually much closer to me than many of the people that I come into contact with in the everyday. Being online – and making friends online – allows you to be who you want to be – and to be honest with yourself, the person that is able to express your opinions without reprisal. At least is what is has always meant to me.
I am really looking forwards to July when we are able to get together and meet up. I am hoping to book Harry Potter Studio Tour tickets, and a special HP related day with Nuri as well.
The thing is this: I wouldn’t have been able to sort this out without social media. We started a long time ago on a Forum on FF.NET, and our friendship evolved out of a huge and common love of all things Harry Potter.
So whilst I would love to delete all things social media, it would be like deleting my friends. I did that once in my life, and I very much doubt that I could do it again without feeling the pain of it tenfold.
What are your opinions on this? Do you think that there is an overuse of all things instant and social? It would be interesting to know what you think…
Take it easy folks!