The Anti-Social Aspects of Social Media

As a Human Being I value connections, especially deep personal ones. My children and my husband come before anyone else. So it interests me immensely, how anti social – social media, can feel, as I develop my blogging business.

My professional background has previously been in Humanistic Counselling, a career that validated my belief and views in connection, love and understanding of the human race. Many a time I felt that as another word bubbled to the surface, developing my knowledge in human emotions and feelings. The analytical ways in which the mind worked made more sense.

The saying Seeing is Believing, was adapted between a friend and I during our professional training. We decided very early on that Feeling is Believing. Recognising that from birth, emotion and feeling are the ways an infant connects with the world initially, as they are slowly socialised within family and society.  Deciding that the reality of living comes  through the deep level feelings.

I felt that I was being given a gift from God . Something precious to be treasured, to handle with care and not abuse. Could it just be the  value judgement I place on human lives and living.

Yet I find myself at times, investing more of my personal time and effort in building something that another can pull the plug on, disconnect from or block in an instant. In one press of a button, I am gone – it’s as easy as that. The fragility of this practice is not lost on me.

So ironically enough, it is here, online, that I choose to explore this subject, share my thoughts and experiences with the ether and offer up a desire to connect and build relationships, not just with those close but also with others around the world.

As a child I loved having a pen friend – Fabian. She lived in France and I would wait for the days when a letter would drop onto our doormat,french stamp attached, her address written neatly on the back.

There was something so physical in touching the envelope, I would smell it- to see if I could bring to life the aroma  of France, then would slowly pull out the wafer thin paper from inside and listen to the stories of a french girl, similar in age. Absorb her expressions in the activities she was doing, how her school and social life were going and feel so impressed at how well she wrote in English, whilst I got by with just a couple of words in french.

My desire is to share my love of the world, with others. The adventures I take, the explorations I go on and the lessons I learn. Inspire and encourage others to step out of the norms of every day life and take a chance at doing something different. I desire to  make others lives easier.

In Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, I discovered my freedom, with my children I discovered and connected with my love and learnt to use my mind in a different way than previously known. In connecting with them, I also connected and learnt a lot about myself, my beliefs and the sacrifices I was prepared to make for another human being.

Now as I write: marketing, branding, search engine optimisation, bounce back rates, views, visitors and clicks are starting to fill my days, yet at the same time I am disastisifed with the lack of interpersonal connections within my life as I stride forward day by day.

Do people truly want to get to know one another. It is possible  for another to step out of themselves for a few short moments  – can one person support another in their sadness, yet at the same time help them work towards their happiness.  I do believe we can.

How do you find the wonders of the internet are helping you to connect or do you find it shallow and disconnecting?

I’d love to know your thoughts…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “The Anti-Social Aspects of Social Media

  1. Hi Jan, Living my “temporary life” – six months at home and six month somewhere else, I’ve grown to appreciate the cyber world as a form of connection. The blogging community is full of great people and I’ve made some long-lasting connections. Pretty grateful for my “virtual” friends. 🙂

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  2. Sounds wonderful Kath 🙂 I am very glad to have connected with yourself, an opportunity I would not have been in the position of doing 15 years ago!. I find when I view things both positively and negatively I eventually am left with a constructive stepping stone in the formulating of the use of such media. Maybe at the end of the day – no matter whether communication is personal or virtual, it is the people underpinning it, that either make it real or fake!

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  3. Definitely something to both love and hate!

    We spend too much time immersed in social media and away from otherwise time with our nearest and dearest, not just in social media but on screens generally. We debate the time our kids can spend on screens when we have our own noses stuck on our iPhones, booking the next trip, or accommodation, keeping up with email and social media.

    Travelling long term we have found huge value from making connections with other bloggers and family travellers – some are brief encounters others more meaningful and become long term, but isn’t this just like the mix of encounters we have face to face through life? Through social media, blogs and a travelling families fb group we have gone out of our way to connect with other families face to face and spend a day, or a week or longer thus making lasting friendships and getting to know one another in a more real way . I feel that we’ve joined a happy global travelling family community … Those we only know on line are valuable connections too but there is something more real with those we’ve met in the flesh!

    Another thing, there’s an important difference to be aware of between the pictures and stories people choose to share on blog posts vs real life day to day ups and downs. So it’s easy to have a bad day or week and think everyone else is doing it better than you!! They also have their ups and downs but most will blog only the ups! I’ve been guilty of thinking no one else has an argument with their husband or kids who refuse to do their schoolwork etc and had to give myself a pinch to get perspective back!

    A few only, I think yours included, will offer more honesty, share personal challenges, seek refreshingly deeper discussion, although in doing so may then open themselves to criticism and judgement -which I find is another aspect to consider which I’m a bit nervous about! Sometimes I even spend times drafting my thoughts on a comment or thread then deleting the whole thing … Which is a whole lot of effort compared to having a good old chat with a friend over a cuppa:)

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  4. Hi Mo,
    Sometimes when I post what is going on for me at a particular moment in my life, in attempting to build a business, I feel a huge anxiety for a while. I find that when I look around me, at times the world seems to be made up of perfect people who do not share their difficulties, as they attempt to progress through their lives, in whatever endeavour they choose to have a go at. Some days it even upsets me.
    We, as human beings can be so judgmental and shut down at times, but I think, I live and grow in the honesty of others – even if at times it is uncomfortable or downright challenging. Sometimes it is painful and sometimes I am reminded of my vulnerability in being as open with the world as I am. But if I were to lose the existential anxiety I feel in living, would that not be the worst thing of all.
    As I write what is with me, I learn and as you quite rightly say – you utilise social media in another way, building and meeting a community as you go. Sometimes keeping contact with new found friends and at other times letting go. Maybe I need to make sure I connect physically if I can, with the new people entering my life in different ways. It make me and them more real, I think.
    Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down, it helps me adjust my view – taken on another’s perception and see it through different eyes. All these elements assist me in building a strong ‘social media’ foundation!
    🙂

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  5. Good luck:) def nice to connect with new contacts face to face if you.

    I’m not totally convinced about the anxiety aspect. I think a small dose is healthy but sometimes, for me at least, I don’t think it would be the worst thing to be a whole lot less anxious:)

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