Social Media is not Socializing. : ThyBlackMan

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Social Media is not Socializing.

January 15, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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( To socialize is to “participate in social activities and mix socially with others”. Some of the” synonyms of socialize are words like mix, mingle, meet, fraternize, get together, and keep company.” Today we may need to re-evaluate what we consider social interaction because it seems that everything can be done from phone, tablet, or computer. Social media has given many of us a reason to believe we are interacting with others, engaging in activism, and letting our voice be heard. Since sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are used by those we admire, and hate, that have significant power in this country, and its plastered all over the news, many of us feel comfortable dealing with others from behind a screen.

Many of us that are in social and service organizations have decided we don’t need to attend in person…we can get everything from the update on the Facebook page. Too many of our children never interact with our “friends” because they don’t see them. Social media has destroyed relationships that we once had real time and caused blood to boil. Things are said over a screen that one would never say in person.

Activities that would better in person social skills are tabled for seclusion and social media. Most of the people on “friends” list or that are following us are people we have never met….and more than likely never will meet. In the age of media socializing we stand to be delusional about what it takes to actually make change in our communities, and we can lose our sense of compassion that comes from direct human interaction. It seems we read, and chat, about what’s going on in the world more than we put our hands to it.

Granted social media is a great place for quick discussion, and it can even give law enforcement the leads necessary to find a criminal. However, they will have to get off the internet and actually do their jobs if our streets are to be properly policed. The same can be said for any form of activism. You can get the word out on social media, but you will have to get up and get out among the people to see any real change come to pass.

This lack of real time face to face socializing robs us of the ability to understand human beings. We don’t see the body language, nor properly pick up on the energy of the person we are interacting with because a screen does not tell the full story. There is an essence, be it good or bad, that can only be understood when we are in the presence of another individual. Honing that skill can only come from dealing with people directly. If we are not careful everything can seem great online, but meeting is a disaster…or one is overly guarded online and judges another incorrectly. The screen is very capable of making a disaster of tone, and it allows LOL and emojis to hide intention.

Unfortunately, some of us are so connected to devices that technically we incapable of parenting efficiently. There is no real interaction with out children. We don’t talk to them so yes, they are growing and evolving, but we are ignorant to the person they are becoming. This can leave our children in a space whereby they are learning to feel alone even in our presence. Every parent should know this is a very dangerous space. There comes a time when you must unplug and interact…and teach your children how to do the same. They need to know how to read another person, get a feel for their atmosphere, and pay attention to the world around them that is right before their face…not so much the one merely behind a screen. In order to accomplish this, we as adults must be able to do these things for ourselves.

Social media has a place, but it will never replace face to face human interaction. Make is a part of your social interaction…not the base of your socializing over all. The world might be a less scary place if we get back to engaging in it. Its time we create safe spaces we can touch, and battle loneliness with human interaction. We might find that not only can we save our children, but we can save our communities…and along the way save ourselves.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

May connect with this sister over at Facebook and also Twitter

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