Today I came across this Tweet: "If you think that social media, despite the name, hasn't made us less social than ever... you've got rocks in your head."
I think I get what the Tweeter is saying...that people rely too much on social media to communicate and less on actual face to face conversations and phone calls. But I really and truly think social media has made me closer and more in tune with my friends and family.
First of all....Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with family members from all over the country...even the world. My cousin's husband was stationed in Germany for three years. Facebook allowed me and my cousin to stay in contact and chat whenever we wanted. It's been a long time since we've lived in the same town and FB made it possible for us to become close. And now that she's in Hawaii for the next 3 years, I can still keep in close contact with her. I am able to be a part of my friend's daily lives who no longer live in this area. It allowed me to get to know a cousin I never really knew because she was born and grew up a few states away. Until FB, I had only even seen her a few times in my life. Now, in our mid 30's, I can finally consider her a real friend.
Secondly, I am a mom with a career and kids with activities who has friends with careers and families and activities. I do not have time to go have coffee with every one of my friends and family members each week to see how they are and catch up on their lives. As much as I would love to. Life is different these days. It's not like the 50's when most moms were home all day and could get together and chat. But you know what? I can hop on Facebook for twenty minutes and be caught up on all my friends and their families and what they're doing, have a few laughs, view some photos.
Third, social media has allowed me the opportunity to make friends all over the country and world, who I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise. Wonderful and amazing people. Sometimes you need to go outside your circle of friends to find the support and camaraderie you need. I am a writer and no one I knew in my day to day life did that. I found a writers group in my city from an online community. And they were great. I adored them. But still, none wrote what I wrote and I really craved kinship with those like me. And I found them. Social media helps people to not feel alone. There are people out there just like you, loving what you love, no matter what it is. And technology has allowed us to connect easily.
So, I don't know what you all think, but I guess I have rocks in my head. I am so so thankful for what social media has done for me. No, it's not perfect and it has its drawbacks, but when used properly, it is amazing. There has to be balance, just like all things in life. It should not replace all human interaction, but it is great for when face to face human interaction just isn't possible. But when you are in the presence of other humans, the phones should be put away.