It’s Erin’s week for the ol’ #trending column, and she tackles an issue that I dare say affects all of us. At least, all of us who are members of the social-media community — which, let’s face it, is pretty much all of us.
Her columns focuses on “unplugging” from the digital world and your many devices during vacation, which she attempted to do recently. It’s a great read, and will publish Sunday on knoxnews.com.
But today, I found an interesting article and infographic on Mashable about a related topic I often contemplate: Is social media ruining real-world relationships?
The numbers detailing how much time we all spend on these social-networking sites is enough to blow my mind (Facebook users spend 10.5 billion minutes on the site every day, the equivalent of 19,963 years), but the stats of this survey are actually kind of frightening.
- 24% of people said they have missed important moments in person because they were too busy trying to document them for social media
- 39% of Americans spend more time socializing online than in person
- 20% actually prefer communicating online or via text message than to face-to-face conversation
- 33% said they’re more likely to approach someone new online than off
And this is just the beginning. Social media is completely warping normal social interaction. So much of what we post is done to maintain a certain “image,” and the survey finds that many people aren’t exactly truthful in their reports.
When I think of how many people announce big life events — engagements, pregnancies, for instance — it’s pretty staggering. But to think that someone’s focus in that moment might be HOW and WHAT they’ll post online is kind of heartbreaking.
And I’m not saying I’m necessarily any better. Certainly, when something noteworthy happens in my life, I want to share it. And, sure, the majority of my friends are on social sites and probably will see my post.
But whatever happened to a good, old-fashioned phone call? In many cases, we can’t always see our close friends and family in person, but at least a call is more personal than a general post you put out for the hundreds of “friends” you’ve acquired online.
I’m not convinced this will change any time soon, but I do this it’s worth considering. Unplugging occasionally, or even just stepping in a moment to soak it in and enjoy it — let’s start there.