Is social media making me unsociable?
One Tab writer explains how Facebook is ruining her life
‘Becky is having a lamb roast dinner, such a lovely day’
Really Becky, did you honestly feel the need to tell all of your friends this vital piece of information? And do you really think any of your friends actually care about what you had for dinner?
I have a question for you, Becky, back in the day before you used Facebook, or Twitter, or any other social networking website, did you call up all of your friends, family and acquaintances to tell them what you had for dinner? Probably not. So why do you feel the need to go on to the Internet and tell everyone that you had a lamb roast dinner?
Call me cynical, but these are the exact kind of status updates that earns someone the right to be deleted as my Facebook friend. I say Facebook friend, as I am not actually friends with half of the people I have ‘friended’, and when I say half, I more or less mean 96.3% of them.
I joined Facebook as a way to become more sociable with people, and as someone who is largely antisocial, that was a big step. However, instead of broadening my social circle, and submersing myself in a mixture of new and interesting people, I instead realized just how much I hated people, and proceeded to distance myself even further.
I moved over to Twitter in the hope of a better conversation, but was instantly greeted by words such as ‘SLAAAY’ and terms like ‘BAE’, which automatically sent me running in the other direction, people my age were using these words, and all I could do was stare blankly at the screen, hoping for some kind of life raft of Internet discovery.
Do the people using them even know what they mean? I spent a majority of my teenage years hopping between websites, and I still haven’t got a clue as to what they mean!
Why do people speak so differently online, as to what they do in person anyway? And why don’t others call them on it? If anyone over the age of sixteen were running their mouth with these Internet terminologies in the real world, most people would assume they were having an aneurism or some kind of breakdown, yet it seems perfectly fine to use them online.
Maybe this is just a side affect of my current quarter life crisis, but the more time I spend online, the less I want to spend time offline. And this isn’t due to the fact that the Internet is a magical place full of wonder and joy, that lets you stream your favourite shows from other countries into your home (legally of course *Insert wink face here*) but largely because I can find out what people are doing without actually speaking to them.
It doesn’t matter how socially awkward I am, as I can find out exactly what Becky did with her weekend, by scrolling through the 235 blurry photo’s she has recently uploaded, and I don’t even need to worry about saying anything to her.
I can silently judge her drunken antics, from the comfort of my living room, and then disappear into night without a trace as if I were cat woman, only without the spandex.
But is this really a world we want? Where we can potentially stalk anyone at the click of a mouse? Yes it can be a useful, for when Becky is spying on an ex, or trying to get the lowdown on a new potential love interest, but by spending all this time online, are we losing our abilities to communicate in the real world?
Before she knows it, Becky won’t have any reason to stalk an ex online, because she wont have the social skills available to date someone, to be able to have an ex in the first place. The highest amount of social interaction she will probably have, is when she has to open the front door to the pizza delivery guy, and awkwardly make small talk whilst he finds her change.
I’m already a hopeless case, what with the lack of social skills I had before I discovered the Internet, but you my dear reader, you have a chance to escape!
But then again, maybe it’s just a phase, after all we had the same argument in the fifties when everyone went and bought telephones…