Social networking kills social lives

I’ve been known to “dabble” with social media.

My My Space account quickly led to Facebook, then Twitter, Flickr, Instagram… You get the picture.

My dabbling transgressed into a full blown obsession after a lull in my logging on was boosted by the purchase of my beloved iPhone.

Suddenly, my virtual world was at the touch of my fingertips. In my pocket permanently rather than a long 30 minute wait for the creaking computer to boot up.

I revelled in the fact I could do the social networking rounds in less than five minutes without having to leave the sofa, and if I needed to fill in those few minutes while waiting for the bus, I could turn to my Twitter/ Facebook/ various other apps to bide the time.

As well as being a good time filler, social-networking is a way of enhancing my social life because that is, after all, what it’s supposed to be all about right?

But there are rules; a social networking etiquette if you like.

For example, if I’m waiting for a friend to turn up at the pub I’ll grab my phone and browse the internet, check my emails or see what’s going on in the world of Facebook.

As soon as my friend walks through the door, my phone will disappear. Ok, it’ll remain on the table within reaching distance, you know just in case I get an emergency call, but the point is, I’m not on it.

I can excuse it when someone needs to take a quick call, answer a text, or fire off an email. What I can’t excuse is being ditched by my friends for Twitter.

I’d been looking forward to a night out with two friends I hadn’t seen for a while and I knew it was going to be a wild one because they’re forever flaunting their fun on Twitter.

With that in mind, I kissed Hubby goodbye and told him not to wait up because this was going to be a late one.

After the obligatory niceties were done and dusted and the second cocktail was being served, a phone was whipped out and thrust into my hand.

“Can you take a photo of us,” one of them asked as they simultaneously grabbed their cocktails, pulled a pose and fluttered their lashes at the camera.

The next two hours were spent staring into space while they glared bug-eyed into their phones, typing away, stopping only to laugh at a Tweet that caught their eye. After several attempts at conversation, I had enough and called it a night.

Dejected and stone-cold sober, I cuddled up to Hubby on the sofa and decided to “do the rounds” before heading to bed, and yep, you guessed it, clogging up my Twitter feed was a string of Tweets from said friends. “I love this tune”, “Drinking mojitos”, “Guy at the bar is a loser”. It went on.

To my utter disbelief I realised my two friends – who’d only lifted their heads from their phones to exchange more than a few grunts – were having a full blown conversation on there. “@—- lookin’ gorgeous tonight”, “thx babe. Lookin’ good yourself”, “Gonna go hit the dancefloor with @—”.

How tragic, I thought staring at the picture they posted that I’d taken of them pouting into their cocktails, to let social networking kill your social life.

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15 thoughts on “Social networking kills social lives

  1. Very, very true. I’ve noticed this myself with many of my friends. And yeah…I’m guilty of it to an extent, but if I’m out w/ someone i want to TALK to them. Revolutionary, I know.

    One thing I really liked about my phone not working when I went to London was that I was forced to take it all in. Not tweet immediate reactions or pics or answer questions about “how is it!?”…I was able to just REALLY enjoy my trip. So while social media can do AMAZING things (like connect you to people), it can also disconnect you just as quickly.

    Catch 22 anyone?

    btw: thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂

  2. I am in complete agreement! Tragic, but increasingly common 😦
    I would much rather chat with people face-to-face than through any other medium
    ps thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

  3. I have learnt to tone down on my cellphone use. It does kill. Not just the social media, but also the games and apps.

    Although, I think people have become active with their outside life because of these social networks. The more they do things, the more they can share, and talk about it.
    Well, just like everything else. Everything must be in moderation. From the story you told, it sounds overkill of the use of Twitter.

  4. I, too have been drawn into the social networking world; odd for an introvert such as myself. I think I’m attracted because it uses technology rather than face-to-face communication which, I’m afraid to say, begs the question as to why it is called social in the first place. Not only are we encouraged to keep our relationships remote, we annoy the few who choose to spend time with us in person. Sad.

  5. I suspect that there are other issues in this particular case, based on the statement that this occurred after the first cocktail. That’s the one that numbs up the executive center of the brain and causes us to exercise poor — or no — judgement, and to forget our manners.

    There’s another side to this: I have met people through social media, specifically Facebook, with interests similar to mine, who I later met in person and found absolutely delightful. I would never have met this entire group of friends had I not been on FB.

    This in no way negates what you are saying. I’m just saying that there can be social benefits as well.

    • I agree 100%. I use social networking all the time and think it’s a great tool. I use it for work and socially and it definitely has benefits for both. I feel real life has to take precedent over a virtual world though and there seems to be a lot of people I know who step over the line.

  6. Similarly frightening: letting your photos or videos kill your memories. Ever been on vacation and spent more time looking at your travels through a glass lens instead of your own cornea? It’s something I want to think about for myself.

  7. I have found this to be a game killer not only socially but within the working world. The only “gentleman” in our domestic violence agency will pull out his iPad at staff meetings and check who knows what. Since he is our tech guy he deems this appropriate. Who is getting the last laugh, certainly not the women

  8. At the risk of sounding absolutely ancient (I’m 31) this reminds me of those people backpacking who wouldn’t come out because they wanted to write in their diaries. I mean, they missed out on experiences because they wanted to write about experiences. Makes perfect sense. That was on my first trip around the world at 22. And now I’m doing it all over again, in Melbourne today! Yay!

  9. your post is very truthful.. I had an experience lately while photographing some fishermen on a river moving rapidly downstream in a zodiac. as they passed by, one of them yelled at me “you aren’t going to post this on Facebook, are you?” I yelled back “No.” also, I can see the problems that Facebook causes other people I know.

    I also agree with your commenter regarding seeing travels through a glass lens. Guilty!

  10. It is so crazy – but so true! I find more friends only keep up of Facebook (I am still too new to twitter and don’t have the app on my phone yet – resistance may be futile, but I am resisting for now!) I remember recently reading about the phenomenon of FB induced depression in teens – they read all their friends pages and the exciting things they are doing, and feel lesser for it! Meanwhile, half of what their friends post really isn’t true. Your story is case in point – don’t think they actually participated in the night – just tweeted about what was happening around them!

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