I have not been posting every day for the past week because of the amount of work I have have had both with the school district and my two other jobs, but this topic made me stop to write today.
I believe in the statement in the title of this post, whole heartily to a degree. I was reading a post by my friend Michael Kwan the other day Social Media Performance Anxiety on which I pondered and responded in the comments:
I believe Facebook, twitter, email and all other forms of computer communication all have a lot of non-emotional, lack of people skills inherent in them. We as a society have become less understanding and more daring because the person is not in front of us. We have more bravado and no way to judge the other person because we can’t see their facial expressions and emotions.
Maybe that is why we have a lot more senseless violence in the world. We don’t know how to interact with each other.
We need to talk to each other, we need more face to face communication. We need to teach our children how to communicate with others as people with emotions. Because of social media and email we talk to others the same way we write an email or the way we tweet, without others feelings in mind. Do a quick practical test yourself.
Look around as you walk or are working, how many people have their cell phones out checking email, tweeting, texting? They aren’t looking at the people around them, they are transfixed on a gadget, an inanimate object. Now, look at your Facebook and Twitter account, how many “friends” or followers do you have? Do you really have 1,463 friends? Do you really have thousands of “Followers” that you really know?
Me, I have 144 “friends” on Facebook, of which I have had personal, face to face contact with all but around 10. Of the remaining 134 I see maybe 50 of those once in a month and they are people I work with. I see 4 of them a lot because they are family members and the other 80 are people from work that I used to work with, are old high school friends that I haven’t seen or talked to in 35 year. Of the 10 that I have never met face to face, I consider 3 real friends ( Stephen, Michael and Ng Chee Wee) because of the personal contact I have had with them outside of mainstream Twitter, or Facebook. So, from those 144 “friends” I really only see 10 regularly. That’s 134 that I consider friends that I don’t have ANY physical presence with on any basis that would be consider friends in any normal sense of the word.
There are a lot of great things that technology and social media can do for us, but we need to use them in moderation or we are going to become exactly like the movie WALL-E.
Give it a try, let me know what you come up with.