Isn’t that what we’re headed for? I’ve seen a number of changes made by the Social Media giants, and countless socially proficient individuals (or inept) reporting the updates. I’m all for change, and I love a good round of figuring out how things work, but where’s this all headed? It’s come to the point where I need an air traffic controller app to run my Facebook, Google+, and Twitter accounts, all to keep track of who’s who in my lists and circles.
The Days Past
I remember the days when phones had dials; the handset was so bulky that you’d get a neck ache from pinching the set between your shoulder and ear. An answering machine was someone around the phone when it rang, and they wrote a note on a nearby notepad. Lastly, it took forever to dial a number containing more than one zero. For those too young to remember, the dial was slow to return, and once you spun the dial to “0”, you’d wait forever to dial the next number.
The changes that catch my attention, are the ones of privacy, sharing, and for the control freaks, how much do I want to see or be seen by another person in my friend’s list. I know that last one is confusing, mainly because I don’t see integrity behind secretly hiding or shutting someone out if they’re in my list of Facebook friends or Google+ circles. I use the term “friends” loosely.
So, where are we going with social media? Backtracking in Psychology, I looked at a number of studies done concerning human behavior and the Internet, and I remember the predictions 10 years ago based on the few million social networkers. Now mind you, most of these studies were based on network gaming, which then evolved into AOL, MySpace, Text Messaging, and the beginning of Facebook.
The predictions were that people would increase the amount of time spent using social media as a means to communicate, and that the long-term results would be a greater disconnect from each other. Case and point; parents have introduced the behavior (to their children) of not “Being present” when in the company of others.
True situation… Two parents and two children at the table of a Chinese restaurant. Both parents were on cell phones, while their children (no older than 14 yrs), were playing games on their cell phones. The food was served, and neither parent flinched while their children took bites between shots. Dad left with a take-home bag, he didn’t touch his food.
True social interaction… When do we actually spend time, 100% of time, with another human being? During intimate moments (making love/sex), when the other person is hurting (depressed/sad), or when we want something from another person (fulfill needs/wants)? When are we in the space of another person and truly sharing moments in their life? Where are the moments when grandparents told amazing life stories containing hidden moralistic values?
The IN Crowd
To conclude: When you’re looking at the hundreds of Facebook and Google+ friends/followers in your lists/circles, and you’re deciding who can see your posts, whose posts you want to see, or what part of your posts can be seen, think about why you’ve connected to these people in the first place. Remember being in 6th grade and children were hiding things from other children, or during high school some kids couldn’t be part of the “in” crowd? Facebook and Google+ have eliminated that situation by giving you control over quietly treating others poorly. How will we evolve into socially proficient beings, when we’re not in each other’s space, we don’t have to face each other, and we’ve disconnected the learning process of negotiating emotions by logging off?
My take? If you have to worry about someone seeing or hearing something you don’t want them to see or hear, then maybe you shouldn’t be posting it, maybe you shouldn’t have them listed in your account, or maybe you shouldn’t have an account. It certainly keeps you honest and builds integrity within you.
Have an opinion? Remember something you’d like to share? Leave a comment, good or bad, nice or nasty…