Quick, tell me how many pennies would you have if you got one every time someone commented on how social networks make new generations antisocial. A lot? Yeah, I don’t know how many either, but I would be rich. This idea seems to be a fact now. It’s widely accepted and quoted daily, all those old people remembering their childhood and parents telling kids they should get out more. But, could they be wrong? Are they?
I love that picture with bunch of people riding the bus, looking at their phones, and it has a comment in manner of: before smart phones, we would talk to each other. I mean, really? Would you? Ask your dad, did he go around starting sudden conversations on the bus or train, before he had a cell phone? I don’t think so. Commuters are usually workers and students, their heads are full of work and lessons, they use that time to rest, wake up in the morning and process the day on a way back. Listening to music and watching pictures of cats to give your brain a break is nothing bad. And, one more thing – most of the time you are on some social network you ARE talking to someone, so – doesn’t that count as socialization?
There were phones before, and nobody told housewives that they are antisocial for talking to their friends while working. So why is so hard for people to accept that talking to your friends over Facebook is not that different. Sure, communication evolved, there are short messages where letters were, everything is faster, shorter, there are LOLs and WTFs now, we have hash tags and computer slang, but it is normal – we are evolving at a rate never seen before. So are the means to communicate. I do understand the people that say that short messages are killing our literature, yes – but not making us antisocial.
If nothing, social networks are making us more social than before. How could you talk to five friends at the same time, before? How could you make friends from different countries or continents? No way, dude. Today, communications as it is has changed and there are more options then ever before – meeting new people and talking to old friends have never been easier. I remember when my high school friend moved two thousand miles away, I was so sad thinking I would never see him again. And, although chatting on Skype is not the same as actually talking to him, it sure does beat writing letters and sending them via mail. I can hear voice, answer in real time, observe reactions and facial gesture changes – so who is to say that this is the sign of deteriorating social interaction? Not everything is great and simple, people do get addicted on certain elements of this social network world and there are real problems facing the society making a huge plunge into unknown by developing this kind of communication, but i would like us to keep it real in discussing the matter.