Look Up, Look Down. Look All Around.

Enough with the technology hate already. Social media is a tool; it is the use of that tool that is the problem, not its entire existence. Need proof? Consider this: social media…

  • rekindles and strengthens relationships with friends, family where proximity and physical boundaries limit you. This is probably reason enough to value social media, but not for the dreary author of this video.
  • connects you to like-minded individuals. If you are not living in a tolerant, urban location, this is critical to happiness.
  • helps you find a life companion. 20 % of current relationships are estimated to have started with online dating. These relationships are arguably healthier ones, too as they are based on shared interests, not just sexual attractiveness from across a room. For they shy or socially awkward, the value is immeasurable. For this author, apparently soul mates are all walking about in London.
  • provides a venue for artistic expression. Consider what this isolated, lonely World’s Greatest Dad did for his son. What a sad life that kid has with such an inattentive father.

It is not lost on me that the video’s author, complaining about how terrible social media is, used social media to share his message. And people are sharing it on social media. Some, like me, are seeking to discuss it. Why did we do this, when we could have been, as the author puts it, productive reading a book (so social), painting a picture (again, is this normally a group activity?) and exercising? Don’t we realize that no one is listening? We are all too busy reading *other* social media posts, I guess.

The issue is when we, while in the moment with someone, engage with social media instead of that person. The desire to share that moment is understandable. It is, however, possibly poorly timed. This all comes to social media etiquette. Let’s teach and promote that; not the absence of social media, or how isolating it is. Because it is not.

Also, if you have 422 “friends”…maybe the issue is that you consider 422 people “friends” rather than the count you are making them. Maybe consider a “reset” of your Facebook account.

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