Why Can’t We Just Sit and Talk?
The problem with social media is that it isn’t social. At least that’s been my experience. “Social” activities, for me, involve an immediate give and take, this is possible because all the people involved are in the same place, sitting, standing, drinking, eating, playing games or participating in sports. Regardless of the actual activity, it is social because you can see, hear, smell, touch (even taste if the occasion warrants) everyone who’s there.
I have yet to have any sensory experience over social media, and believe me the senses are as important to social events as actually being present. We use our senses to gather information about those who are with us, to mark the occasion and make it memorable, to help ourselves be comfortable. How can FB, Twitter, even Pinterest (although that one does appeal to the visual senses) compete with the physical experience of being social.
I find social media to be somewhat artificial, trying to create atmosphere in cyber-space, which is essentially a vacuum. The one thing social media can do that simply sitting and talking can’t is provide a medium for relatively rapid long-distance communication. I can have conversations of a sort with anyone anywhere in the world as long as we’ve both agreed to the restrictions of the format and have accounts on the same ‘network.’ I’m delighted to be able to encounter such a wide range of people. But I honestly don’t feel very social. I feel a tad awkward and wonder if anyone is really receiving whatever message I’ve tried to send through cyber space.
So leave a comment and let me know what you think. Is social media activity your thing, or would you rather just sit and talk?