Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Is Social Media really that social? Social Media is killing our off-line relationships.

The Noise within Social Media - Can you hear yourself?

The SOCIAL in Social Media seems to have a positive connotation when you think about it. But are we really that social when we are on Social Media? Do you say hello to everyone or are you interacting with others offline? Isn't that what Social Media is about when we are on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn? For reference, I looked up the definition of social on an online dictionary.

Wikipedia defines social as "The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms as applied to populations of humans and other animals. It always refers to the interaction of organisms with other organisms and to their collective co-existence, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and irrespective of whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary."

Interactions can be in many forms including selling, regular conversations, likes/dislikes or comments. The dark side of Social Media are people are more brash and they often lose sight of common sense and etiquette. Have you ever seen an episode of FLAME WARS happen before your eyes? 😆😇😈😍😼  Yeah, you know those posters with no common sense or decency. You can call them Trolls or Flamers.  Or you can look in the mirror and that might be you.  Psychologists call this occurrence as online disinhibition effect. The negative consequences of online disinhibition effect should not be ignored and is often a sign of a larger social issue.  It's a disturbing trend we see a lot more of in Social Media.

Millennials are the most tech-savvy generation in the world today.  But have you noticed the disturbing trend among Millennials when it comes to offline versus online relationships.  Go on a college campus and you will experience this disturbing trend.  Students are looking down at their smart phones or tablets. They most likely won't look up to acknowledge you or even say "Hello" when you past them.  But they might text you about the latest gadget or twitter about the latest fad or trend.  Millennials are replacing offline interactions with online interactions at a disturbing rate.

Some other funny social quirks of technology.  Have you ever got that automated DM on Twitter when you follow someone? But then no follow-up on a attempted social interaction.  I think in the age of Artificial Intelligence we could do a lot better. Classic example of high-tech with no high-touch.  Another example is when I go to the bank, I use the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and manage my accounts online.  But once in a while, I like to go inside the bank and say "Hello" to a human being to process a more difficult banking transaction.  We call it a mixed strategy of high-tech and high-touch. A strategy that is interdependent on one another and involves the human side of technology.

So what can we do to ensure Social Media does not kill our off-line relationships? Here are some of my suggestions and you may want to add a few of your own:

  • NEVER replace your offline relationships with your online relationships.  Reality will catch up to you inevitably in the end.

  • Be NICE to each other when we are on Social Media.  Realize we are all humans and we make mistakes online and offline.  If nothing else, agree to disagree.

  • LIVE for the moment!  When you are in Church, in a meeting, or on a date, TURN OFF all your gadgets and Social Media.  Nothing more annoying or damaging to a real relationship than to be ignored because of Social Media.

  • REALIZE that we live in reality and the need to interact with people in the real world is a basic skill and necessity. Social Media should be another tool and outlet for interaction.

  • PAUSE your Social Media for a moment when someone approaches you. Whether that someone is a strange, family or friend, look up and acknowledge them, then say "Hello" and smile.

I found a great YouTube video on Social Media which is a TEDx talk by Allison Graham. 😁  After watching it, go out and spend some time to ensure Social Media is not killing your off-line relationships.

Have a GREAT week from the Freeagentglobal.com Team!

How social media makes us unsocial | Allison Graham | TEDxSMU

Best Regards & Success,

Chief Free Agent #1

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