As with anything there is always a great deal of good and bad with any major change in society. I would make the argument that little in our living lifetimes has had more impact on daily life for us than the internet. For all the good it has brought to our fingertips there is some amount of bad accompanying the technology as well. As a branch stemming from the tree of the entirety of the internet social media in particular has grown into it’s own monster of a force. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok and a host of other platforms all striving for every waking minute of our attention we have lost the very basis of socializing.
Social media was lauded as tools that would bring us all together. It was keeping us in touch with long distance relatives, busy friends and creating new ones. In some aspects it has but with each passing day it becomes more of master that steals more from us with a sly smile. We base more and more our self worth on the amount of attention a post makes. We judge ourselves and others by the number of shares tweet gets. We compare our vacations and it’s worthiness to the overly filtered version of the neighbors. We focus on fifteen second clips of insane behavior because it garners the most attention. Relationships are casually tossed aside at the behest of a flirting acquaintance. We will behave in a fashion that would get us punched in the mouth in real life because the safe disconnect of a keyboard. We have a level of tolerance for filth that we’d be ashamed of in the company of people. We ignore those we love in front of us for strangers on a screen.
All of these issues and a plethora of others we can individually conjure up with little effort has contributed to us moving backwards as a social society. We have issues with relationships from friendships to intimate because we’ve been conditioned to capture the highlight reel of someone’s life in bite size pieces on social media and we’re unfulfilled when the mundane of everyday life peeks through. We don’t celebrate small victories as we should because a social acquaintance seems to dwarf our accomplishments. We grow dull on people because they can’t meet the expectations we’ve developed in our mind based off the high point of their day they captured in a few seconds of video.
Overall the very social platforms that were intended to bring us together in many ways has neutered our social skills. We have regressed on human interaction and the critical building blocks of society. Social media is a tool and a good one at that but I implore each of you along with myself to keep it as such. Leave the phone on the charger this evening. Build a bonfire, invite a friend over, talk, play horseshoes or just let the chatter take center stage. Old fashioned friendships and interaction with folks will build far more character than any downloaded application ever will.
Opinions expressed on the Columns Page are not necessarily those of the Jackson County Sun, its owners, or its publishers.