Has Social Media Become Anti Social Media

A friend of mine posted the other day about how Facebook has turned into a feed of others posting videos they have seen and no longer a forum for conversation. His comment was profound to say the least.

“Do people still actually post things here or is just a forum to share videos you found on the internet?”

Our social media venues have become more of the anti social media as we fail to engage one another. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) seem to have transformed into venues of mental masturbation to help pass the minutes as we exercise, exercise bowel movements and or exercise our lack of effort into our careers and selves.

Many a late nights I used to delve into Twitter and Facebook. Twitter especially, as I engaged on many a conversations, albeit some superficial “mom talk,” as my twins were much younger and I found an online community of other women who had the same subscription of life. Bantering, high level disagreements and even some catty non-sense. However, the result was all the same. Conversation.

Today I see Twitter as a monologue, at best. Almost like a telemarketing convention where all of the sellers are dialing out to potential consumers with their tweets in hopes someone will buy their sales pitch. I was saddened to see my own church guilty of the same actions. Services were provided with a hashtag to “join the conversation.” Really? Who would we be conversing with? Other members I suppose, but I found that to be very anti social as well with other members tweeting, never actually engaging in a dialogue.

Facebook has transformed itself into much of the same fashion…coupled with the sisterhood of Instagram. Timelines are littered with selfies and no longer original and or beautiful content. I have watched these two venues turn into a cesspool of narcissism interlaced into being “social.” Social would be how many likes you received for your newest photo and nothing really ever of a conversation.

Have we let our new technology and new forms of communication dilute, if not totally eliminate, any true forms of communication or dialogue? Or is this the way we communicate now these days with pictures, videos, selfies and emoticons? How do we begin to converse with one another again?

With advancements of technology and forms of communication have we catapulted ourselves into the age of anti social media? Recalling an email I received from my dad about 10 years ago, he provided me his new phone number when he was living in Iowa and said, “text me if you want to talk.” I replied and guffawed at such a request, “I don’t text Dad.” Was I flippant, naive, optimistic that communication would remain status-quo? Maybe a combination of all three, never in my wildest dreams would I consider communicating with my parents, let alone my friends in such a fashion. Never would I have imagined creating a blog when just six months pregnant to detail the chronology of my twins in utero, their lives thereafter, our lives in their entirety as a collective over the past eight years.

I suppose since our lives are so busy, social media helps to keep us abreast of all of friends goings-on. Maybe we help show them our interests with the different shares and social likes through Facebook and Twitter. Social media has helped us connect with one another instantly and receive updates on breaking events in the blink of an eye as opposed to waiting for the following day or the late evening newscast. Yet, we seem to be more anti social because we have updates so frequently, so immediate that we can even sever friendships with the click of a button, block the information we receive, filter our lives to seem, feel and look perfect.

Have these “social” venues created an opportunity of anti social behavior?

Social media has allowed us to avoid having meaningful and legitimate dialogues with the click of a button, removing people from our lives when conversations become crucial. While we can connect immediately, we can disconnect just as easily. As opposed to having a healthy dialogue, we just shut the conversation down with block, delete, un-follow, unlike. We can avoid sharing how our lives are imperfect by sharing some of the best photos of the day when the picture behind the camera would suggest normal humanity, beautifully broken. Suddenly we have keyboard muscles that we exert as our form of exercise, because to exercise our mental capacity to accept diversity that something is less than perfect or a comment is less than favorable we remove the threat. Our behavior on social media is dramatically different that in person, acting as if we lack any inhibition to hurting another because we may not actually have real life interaction with people.

Have you found yourself in the vortex of anti social media? Have you found you are only sharing videos and other posts and never really engaging in real, healthy conversations or dialogues? Has your social media become a monologue and not a dialogue?

9 Replies to “Has Social Media Become Anti Social Media”

  1. Very much so.
    As you know I am not a blogger but enter contests and such and on occasion do ‘talk’ t people, although anymore not much talking.
    EVERYONE wants me to follow their facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram accounts for the all mighty numbers game. I will make it know that in all honesty unless I like and know the person, I have like ZERO interest in peoples instagram account in particular. I have no iinterest in people’s pictures of themselvees doing the *&)*&(^ duckface parading around in some stupid outfit, that I have to lie and make a comment for an entry that says how good they look, how pretty something is or how cute their kids are. I dont care.
    Or making a comment on someones status that I know is generic that in all honesty they never reply or respind to, same goes for twitter. It’s on autopilot.
    I do realize I tweet contests, but by God, if I am following your accounts, acknowledge I am human, and heaven forbid, follow back, you can look at my stupid crap if I have to look at yours.
    Anymore, I do what I am doing here…. you make an honest too God interesting post, I will come and comment. Not that it matters to some, because frankly their posts are a bunch of crap they have written months ago and they might as well close comments for all of the interaction you get back.
    I just usually shut my mouth, dont engage, and go about my odd little llife, Tis doesnt apply to all I know several who engage and do a fine job of it.

  2. oh yes i agree,it is awful the way ppl talk and attack each other,,i dont deal with those ppl ,,they get blocked or ignored

  3. This is a bit off-topic, but I’ve been thinking of how many people I know who spend literally hours on social media. It is a huge concern these days, especially for the younger generations. When my kids were in high school, they were constantly on MSN Messenger – happily the schools banned it shortly after. But they were on other sites I didn’t know about at the time – Nexopia, etc. Of course they always lied about their age, much as many kids today on Facebook who aren’t fourteen yet. I used to spend a lot of time on FB because I thought it was a great way to connect with family & friends if you lived far away from them. It still is great for sharing pictures, etc. – but I rarely have discussions with anyone there anymore. I had no interest in connecting with old schoolmates or coworkers who I hadn’t spoken to in decades – I think that is all just too much pretense. Yes it’s fun to see how other people “turned out”, but I think too many people just use it to spy on others. Happily, our children have progressed from spending hours online to interacting with the real world. The overwhelming amount of content available on the internet is seductive, and it’s hard to find a balance and limit yourself, even as an adult. On the other hand, forums and blogs like this are wonderful ways to connect and support each other, and I’m all for that. My daughter now lives far away, and I was thinking of writing her a long email – but now I think I’ll send her a real handwritten letter instead!

  4. I do not know how to work half the things people want me to join I like Facebook and pin what ever I like talking on the phone and personal visits may lose contest but that’s all I want to known I am 60 years old to much information coming in

  5. I was ‘in a mood’ when I wrote the first one, although its all true. I realize the time I spend online is time I am losing as they say IRL. Sometimes it isnt a good trade off, other times it is.
    I miss the old days when connecting was fun, I know I didnt have more hours in the day, maybe I just made the time.
    Youre one of the people I miss Karie, a bunch of others were alot of fun too.

    1. Ellen, I need to read that one! I have yet to read it. I miss you too lady, I miss the connections. I see so many people have lost connections. Mine were because life got in the way and I lost touch. Now I see folks who do more promoting and me, me, me and less US, US, US. I am saddened by this and the human connection we lose because of ego with technology. But I have to say that the online realm has definitely closed the gaps in our world and me enjoy the connections I have made.

  6. I almost never share videos from the internet on my Facebook. I don’t like to post much to Facebook at all. I do it when it is a requirement for a giveaway, but I would prefer not too. I feel like I am bothering my followers with my posts. Before I did giveaways my Facebook activities took place almost entirely in closed groups. I prefer that setting where I can freely converse with people who share my interests. Groups are much better for building and maintaining friendships on Facebook than just posting publicly to your wall where you have the chance of annoying and alienating your friends who could care less about whatever you post about.

  7. Yes, yes and yes. Smartphones have become one of my top annoyances in life. It seems like everyone has their head down, staring at a screen while I’m trying to speak to them. It drives me bananas. I miss sitting around and chatting with people. I have social media accounts, but I rarely look at the content unless it is something that someone has personally sent me.

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