Everyday we’re witnessing explosive growth and developments in technology that enables us to create, distribute, connect and communicate like never before. Many people enjoy relaxing in front of their computer, logged onto their favorite social media website, catching up with online friends and even family that live far away. They laugh at silly posts, read status updates, look at and post pictures/videos and play games. In itself, there is nothing wrong with online social media websites, in fact they can be a great way for some people to stay connected with friends and loved ones not close by. For that, I think social media sites are great, but I feel as if there is a point when we become too connected.
At any one moment there are millions of us texting, tweeting, sharing pictures on Instagram or updating Facebook. What that means is we have to concentrate more on the phone and the computer. And that makes us take our attention away from those around us. I’ll admit I am completely guilty of sitting in the same room as a friend while we ignore each other’s presence and check our email, facebook, instagram, and twitter. Maybe we should think about what we’re losing by using social media – the social skills that help us establish trust and understanding with our fellow human beings, and rediscovering those quality conversations.
We are constantly checking our phones and tablets for the latest update on social media sites. We all seem to have heart palpitations if we misplace our iPhones for 5 minutes, and the world clearly comes to an end if we forget our phones at home for a whole day. I recently read an article called “Are You an Infomaniac,” and according to the article:
- 34% check their smartphone after sex,
- 23% go on Twitter more than 10 times a day,
- 51% check social network sites at dinner,
- 62% use their phones while shopping and
- 42% will stop a conversation if their phone beeps.
People want or need to be connected to their email and social media channels constantly. This has made me almost come to the point where I resent social media because I am guilty of just about everything on that list. But while I complain about information overload and having no time to do the quality things in life, I am at the same time adding to the volume.
I love Facebook. I adore the sarcastic comments acquaintances make on one another’s status updates. I delight in connecting with old friends, and learning about new friends. I cherish sharing pictures and having the opportunity to show them to friends and family. I get a surprising amount of local and national news from social media. Facebook connects me in meaningful and not-so-meaningful ways to the people and places I care about. Up until I started this class, I refused to get a Twitter. I personally don’t believe my life is interesting enough to update people on… unless you really want to hear how I #wenttoclass, #studiedfortheCPA, or #madechickenfordinner.
While I still feel that we spend too much time on social media sites, I have to embrace it. The world is shifting to 140 character status updates. This is why I signed up for a social media class. I am hoping to change my opinion on social media. I want to see all of the benefits it has to offer, especially for the business world. I want to better understand how to use social technologies to reduce overload and complexity instead of add to it. Social media is rapidly revolutionizing just about every aspect of business, and I want to embrace it with an open mind. So bring on the hash tags, tweets, blogs, reposts ect.
We may be able to connect with hundreds if not thousands of people we come in contact with but does all this technology and communication lines make our communications more meaningful? By the end of the semester I am hoping to believe the answer to that question is “yes” and know why.
Article: “Are you an Infomaniac?”: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4647178/Were-losing-memory-and-becoming-selfish.html