17 May 2016
I reached out to a friend and colleague of mine, David Adeleke, on his opinion on the use of social media and how it has affected relationships and human behaviour. After a short conversation, he gave his opinion and here it is:
Some months ago, I was working at a media startup where it was an unwritten rule that “you shouldn’t ask a colleague a question that Google can answer.” At first, it was difficult for me to follow that ‘rule’. Maybe it was because I am old-fashioned, or because I enjoyed interacting with people more than I did Google; I’m not so sure. Whichever, I didn’t like it and I think it says a lot about what the world is becoming.
Technology comes in different forms, but this article will focus on the internet and mobile gadgets.
In the age of Social Media, workplace chat apps and mobile phones, it’s getting easier for us to stay behind screens and sit in virtual reality all day, and still be able to communicate with people. As good as this sounds, what this communication lacks is the intimacy that comes with human contact. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find three people sitting at a table, all glued to their phones, chatting or tweeting away – without saying too much to each other.
In a sponsored post on Mashable, EBay explained how Social Media has impacted our lives:
“Social media has enabled us to communicate with a much greater number of people on a global scale that used to only be viable on a local level… While this is great when it comes to keeping friendships alive over great distances, it also increases the demands on people to keep a much larger number of relationships going simultaneously.”
The normal way of life is to have few friends you’re very close to. They know everything there is to know about you. They have your back when you’re in need of help. But with so much time spent on Social Media, we are tempted to keep up with our growing lists of friends and followers.
Remember, Social Media is a beast that feeds on content. Adrian F. Ward wrote on Scientific American that “On average, people spend 60 percent of conversations talking about themselves—and this figure jumps to 80 percent when communicating via Social Media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.”
We spend so much time online, and spend so much time talking about ourselves with hundreds and maybe thousands of people who might not give a shit about us. That’s what technology is doing to us. That’s how it is affecting the way we relate.
We send someone a birthday tweet or post some epistle on their wall and think that’s a good enough birthday gift? We should all be flogged, in my opinion.
Do you agree this is exactly what the effect of Social Media exhibits? Have ways to trim the addiction? Or contrary opinions? Be sure to drop a comment below.