Is social media making us anti-social?

February 6, 2011 at 10:38 am | Posted in CyberMummy, Daily Life, Work & Life | 13 Comments
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I’ve been thinking a lot about social media recently, along with the million and one other things I have to do.  With Social Media Week starting tomorrow, plus a meeting with someone I met through Twitter last week it’s got me thinking.  During our conversation, the lovey lady I met with stated that she preferred life pre-Twitter, my world stopped, my eyes shot up and to the right and I suddenly realised that yes, I could completely relate to that.

Twitter opens up a whole world of exciting opportunities to us – some of which I never dreamed possible.  From becoming the face of Tesco magazine to lovely folk offering a helping hand when the bear was screaming through the night with growing pains.  Why would anyone want to turn their back on that?

With the amazing success of Blogladesh this year and raising awareness to the huge community of parents online, plus the incredible announcement that Sarah Brown is to be a keynote speaker at Cybermummy; social media has revolutionised the way we behave; it’s connecting people and raising awareness in a completely new way.  I started following Sarah Brown on Twitter and she followed me back; how was that type of connection possible a few years ago?

The opportunities simply speak for themselves.

But could social media actually be turning us into hermits?  And is tweeting and blogging a cry for help?

I’m happy to confess that over the past few years, as I’ve become more and more engrossed, I have come to need those little @replies and all important comments to approve.  It’s a security blanket.  My muslin square.  I also have a friend who gets really, really fed up if she doesn’t get over a certain number of comments on her Facebook status update.  We crave the attention.

A recent article in The Observer questions whether platforms such as Twitter and Facebook actually isolate people.

I don’t think my husband will mind me revealing that it drives him round the twist that I tweet ‘OMG Harry can’t really be dead, I’m devastated’ during Silent Witness and then proceed to find solace in my fellow Harry fans online.

It also infuriates him if he asks me a question and I reply without even looking up from the computer screen because I’m totally absorbed in someone’s blog post about an incredible challenge they’ve overcome.  Is it more important to me to talk to my husband or comfort someone I know is reaching out for support?

The article also suggests that our overuse of social media is leaving us with an inability to digest larger pieces of media such as books, newspaper or magazine articles.  Well, I suppose I did skim read some of said article because the tiny black letters were starting to jumble into one and get on my nerves after a while.

I also admit that my husband just phoned from his hotel room (away with work) and I was itching to get back to finishing this post….bad wifey.

I don’t know what the answer is here.  I do know that life may have been more simple pre-Twitter…..but we always find something to fill our time – don’t we?! And imagine all that amazing stuff we’d miss out on without it.  I was debating outsourcing my book keeping, cleaning and other tasks with my dad today; so I could focus on building my business.  He agreed it was a good option, spend a little to earn more but concluded that I wouldn’t have less to do.  He’s right.

To go back to Twitter, through writing this blog post I am recalling the sheer heart pounding excitement as I ran to the Kodak stand at CyberMummy having kept a keen eye on their Twitter stream for the chance to win a video camera.  It paid off, I won one, after shoving a cupcake in That Kats face…it was part of the qualifying process, honest.

I also want to say that I am not an unsociable person.  My husband is particularly good at ‘joining in’ with new groups of people he doesn’t know, and he’s taught me to do the same – at weddings, funerals, barmitzvahs, you know – it’s nice for people you’ve met for the first time to go home thinking you were ‘a lovely girl’.  I’m also one for talking to people in queues and on trains.  Some people love it, others do not.

The bigger question is, what will we be hooked on next?!  For now I am saying to myself ‘a little of everything is good in moderation’.

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13 Comments »

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  1. When I was 17 I went to a party with a girlfriend called Jan. I happened to say to her that a boy there looked nice… so she told him I ‘fancied him’. That boy and I have now been married for nearly 38 years. I’ve often wondered what happened to Jan. Last year I made contact with her through Facebook. Would I have found her again without social media? I don’t think so.

    • Exactly! And how would you know what I’m doing every day without Twitter! Sometimes I feel I should text you first before I update my status so you’re the first to know!

  2. Great post – some definite food for thought.

  3. Wow! So much I can relate to here that it makes me feel a little uneasy… Life is certainly a different place than it was a few years ago.

    • It’s a little scary isn’t it! We never would have met in person or had the fab She day without it would we!

  4. LOL I remember that clearly when you won the camera. A great post, who would have known a few years ago we would have made so many good friends through the powers of social media. Amazing. x

    • I was having palpitations I was so excited!

  5. Fab post! Got me thinking! I love socia media for the opportunities it has given me as well as the lovely friends like you!! 🙂 I too remember when you won the camera.

    • Thanks Emma! Roll on CyberMummy 2011! Hope to see you at Huggies lunch in March too! x

  6. Hi there, nice to meet you. I came through Cyber Mums. Jody here living in California. Great post (and I LOVE your dress by the way, incredibly cool…)Yes since I started blogging six months ago, the kids give a a hard time about always on the computer, being in the room but not being there. My little guy says: “Just walk the red carpet, then you won’t have to blog anymore…”Makes me feel guilty sometimes but I’ve “met” such great women and extended myself so much more…

    • It’s really good to meet you too, off to check out Cyber Mums!

  7. I absolutely love this article, it’s both interesting and funny. I wasn’t as fast as some people getting into FB and Twitter but now I am I love them. I can keep up to date with my friends lives who live all over the world and meet their friends through their comments on my friends wall and statuses.

    I got into blogging initially as a way journaling my trip around the world with my daughter to encourage other families, especially single parent ones, that it could be done. On a more personal and micro scale FB was invaluable in giving people instant updates about where we were, what we were doing and reassurances we were ok even when we were in the depths of the jungle. We could share photos and experiences with our entire network of family and friends in one go.

    Now I have my new blog where I talk about my day to day life and it is wonderful because it gives me an outlet for all my ideas and opinions, even better I get feedback from other peoples comments. Before I used to have lots of ideas and opinions floating round my head with no outlet and getting them out into the public blogosphere is more satisfying than keeping a private journal about nothing more intimate than my opinions on that days news.

    But I will never forget back in 2003 when internet chat was all the rage because it was so novel I had just come offline after a marathon session when my partner at the time said something funny. I didn’t laugh, I said ‘LOL’! I knew then I was spending more time online that was healthy!

    • Your essay comment definitely counts as a blog post for that day by the way!!
      It’s funny how blogging starts for one purpose but then leads you off in some many directions that you never expected!


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