Saturday, February 4, 2012
#161 - Guest Post: Is Social Media Interfering with Your Lifestyle?
By Kelly Sturgeon
Everyday, people interact with each other via SMS, Facebook messages and tweets to convey their thoughts, feelings, problems and virtually every detail of daily life. The problem with all this non-personal communication is that some of us may be losing the ability to interact well one-on-one. Could it be that we’re using social media to avoid having face-to-face interactions and relationships?
Technology is simply a tool, but recently, we’ve witnessed it causing damage to friendships and hindering some people’s ability to function without a cellphone or access to Facebook and Twitter. It is becoming an addiction; people have their cellphone glued to their hands, checking every five minutes for that new text message or Facebook notification. To some extent, most of us are guilty of this; we use technology to avoid talking to strangers. Do we really think that text messages are more important than the friend we’re having lunch with?
A friend of mine always responds to phone calls and text messages during our dinners together. She answers a call, chats for 15 minutes then hangs up without even apologizing for making me sit there awkwardly, waiting. I’ve always been uncomfortable with this. Do I ask her to call the person back after we part or do I simply pretend that I don’t care? Of course, it is impolite and annoying to others. No one enjoys being ignored, yet we all seem to do it these days.
I’ve heard friends’ comments that they could not imagine life without cellphones and the Internet. Without these tools, they wonder how they would receive information, do assignments or stay current with world events? It is important to recognize that life will go on if we do not text or tweet every day. Social media is great for networking, finding potential employers or chatting with old friends, but if we abuse it, we may find ourselves facing the consequences. My advice is to take a step back now and then, reorganize your priorities. Set a limit to how much time you’re spending on Facebook or Twitter. By setting limits, we can be less dependent on technology. Life may even become less complex or stressful.
Let’s be the generation that encourages everyone to learn to interact with others in person as often as we do online.
Agree? Disagree? Please feel free to share your comments below.
About the Author: Kelly Sturgeon is a Junior Public Relations major in the Journalism & Mass Communications Department at Murray State University. She is intrigued by sports, writing and new communications techniques. She plans to graduate in spring 2013 and pursue a career in public relations. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.