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Is Social Media More Anti-Social Than Social? 

Because we have a digital safety net around us at all times, we feel no need to push ourselves. As a result, our social skills can decline rapidly. Is it time to switch off?

social media

The clue’s in the name, but social media has become so much more to us than just a way to connect to others without actually being in the same room as them.

We check our Twitter feeds like the morning news and have to catch up on emails before anything else. We consider ourselves fully caught-up on our friends’ lives once we’ve spent a few minutes scrolling through their most recent status updates, giving a quick comment or ‘like’ to show we’re interested.

Who has time for postcard any more? You can just upload your holiday snaps at the click of a button and caption them with, ‘wish you were here!

It’s no secret that most of us see social media as a godsend. Hashtags and the share button do wonders for networking and touching base with your target audience, friends or family. For businesses, sharing creates a personal relationship between themselves and the consumer, and allows any message to spread quicker than wildfire. But, like anything, there’s always a downside.

It isn’t necessarily a good thing, you know, that you’re able to grab your phone in an awkward situation to avoid eye contact, or save you when you’re lumped with a group of people you don’t know. Because we have a digital safety net around us at all times these days, we have no need to push ourselves. As a result, our social skills can decline rapidly.

There’s no need to leave the house to order a pizza or even talk to someone over the phone when you can complete your order and track it (everyone finds that part exciting, right?!) though an app. Why even step outside again when you can Facetime your friends and do your work from the comfort of your bed? All very over-exaggerated, yes, but taking social media a step too far does come with a slew of side effects. And we’re all guilty of abusing the internet, aren’t we? It’s easy to slip into a hermit-type lifestyle when your iPhone holds everything you need.

Technology makes everything easier and this can create absent-mindedness, a lack of perseverance and a lack of motivation as we grow accustomed to things falling into our laps and making something happen with a single tap. We become zombies of the internet, indulging in meaningless conversations because it’s easy. This can be dangerous. The comfort of the internet allows us to stay in, to stop experiencing life in a non-virtual sense, and so when we’re faced with reality things can be… overwhelming. Technology can make us more anxious. A lack of physical connections with loved ones, along with shutting ourselves off from all the experiences life has to offer, can send us into a depressive state.

Hiding under your duvet and letting the cups pile high can put anyone into an unproductive slump, but this can soon turn into a downward spiral – so, despite all the positives that social media provides us with, we need to remember what lies beyond our bedroom and seize life by the horns, because nobody looks back and remembers when they got an early night after Netflix-and-chill and a Facebook stalk. Don’t let social media make you anti-social when it comes to reality.

Images via Thinkstock

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