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7 Responses to Is Social Media Making Us Less Social? [Part 1]

  1. ncevallos says:

    I’m with you on this. Social Media is NOT social at all. I have done some research on the topic for one of my school assignments and I have found that most Social Media users spend more time on Social Media a week than they do interacting with people in real life. Even though I like being “up-to-date” with what my Facebook friends or Twitter followers are up to, I wouldn’t say I’m completely dependent on them in terms of socializing, however, I would like to spend less time talking on the virtual world and more time with my friends in the real world.

    Last September, San Diego experienced a big Black out. Power went out for about 10-12 hours (from 3pm to midnight or 3am depending on the area of town) and for the first few hours the city was a total chaos. Nothing could get done. No groceries because the registers need power, no Internet, and at one point, very little cell reception. People had no other choice than to interact with each other, in real life, without a computer in front of them.

    The entire city was forced to be social with each other. I know of people that told me how they met their neighbors that day. Neighbors that had been living next to each other for over 10 years and had never met. It was very interesting to see the reaction to people at the very beginning and then the change in attitude that was happening once people find something to do with themselves.

    After the day went by and I was in my bed ready to go to sleep I started thinking of how liberating it was to unplug yourself from the world, take a break from globalization and actually get things done the old way. Going to your neighbors and ask them for some ice because yours had melted already, inviting people over for a BBQ, ask them to bring what ever they want to eat before it goes bad. Since then, I dedicate an hour or two a day to unplugging myself from the world. NO COMPUTER, NO CELLPHONE, NO TELEVISION, TABLETS. I do things that I like to do and had forgotten to make time for: I go to a local cafe and paint, or draw, play music, run, write… but the important thing is that NOTHING is done in front of a screen.

    I encourage people to exercise not physically, but mentally. I suggest that you grab a newspaper and read the news, or solve the crossword puzzle. It is a liberating experience and it helps me be in contact with the world that is closest to me. After that daily “blackout time” is done, I connect with the people that are far away.

    • I hadn’t heard about the San Diego power outage, but the results of it are very interesting. I can remember growing up in my neighborhood everyone knew each other, but now several of those families have moved out and younger ones have moved in and haven’t gotten to know anyone else in the neighborhood. Pretty sad…

      Great advice with the mental exercise/blackout time. Very important to do!

  2. James Cooke says:

    .Social media has been a great way to keep in touch with my friends back in the states while I’ve been away. But like you pointed out, I’ve found that I easily start checking multiple times throughout the day to see if anything is new. I’m trying to schedule one time a day to check facebook and twitter, just like I’d do with email. So far it has been really nice. I also like what the previous commenter said, trying to block out “screen free” time each day. I spend a lot of time in front of the computer both for school and pleasure, and so I’ve tried to be more intentional about going electronics-free sometimes. It is quite refreshing, and I think even makes the time I am on the computer more productive. Likewise with social media, limiting my time on in I think makes me focus more on what is going on with people, or at least what’s going on in their cyber world :).

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