IS TECHNOLOGY MAKING US LESS SOCIAL?

IT is bizarre that social media such as Facebook and Twitter could be making human beings less sociable.

I have always thought social media has had a massive positive impact on the way we live.

There is information at our fingertips and the ability connect with people all around the world.

But I now realise it can also have some negative effects.

Sometimes we forget how to interact in the traditional way, by picking up the phone and talking to someone or meeting up face to face.

The stereotype is that young people are constantly glued to their phones and I am guilty of using it to socialise at a distance.

I prefer to tweet or e-mail someone rather than simply call them up or visit them in person.

Given it is my ambition to be a journalist, this is an unhelpful trait.

After watching viral hit video on YouTube entitled ‘Look up’, I’ve changed my mind about social media. It tells a poetic story about the impact of social media on our day-to-day lives and relationships and has obviously struck a chord with people, having been viewed more than 39 million times in the last few weeks.

The video, produced by filmmaker Gary Turk, has really made me think about social media in a different way.

He says that this media we call social can be anything but.

The short film features a lost young man falling in love with a woman who gives him directions. It also shows their life together without the hindrance of social media.

It then shows us the same scenario with the lost young man following directions on his smartphone and missing out on ever meeting, his soul mate woman walking past him.

Although it may appear we are not be aware of our social surroundings many of us have created a social media bubble around ourselves.

At times, I have been sitting in a room full of friends and we are all checking Twitter and Facebook to see what’s going on elsewhere rather than talking to each other about the here and now. Their news, thoughts and ideas will later surface on Twitter or Facebook.

I’ll not be giving up social media entirely though.

 We can certainly miss out on opportunities in front of us but I still believe Facebook and Twitter provide us with endless opportunities to meet people online.

Social media also allows us to keep in touch with people across the world, helping maintain long-distance friendships.

Additionally, news can be delivered more quickly than ever before through live updates of global events.

Social networking sites make news more accessible to a wide mass audience.They have also played a part in improving literacy with children who use the platforms developing better communication skills.

 Another educational advantage is that, thanks to the huge availability of information on the internet, it is possible to research a subject at a depth that would have been utterly impossible a couple of decades ago.

That said, it is all too easy to become immersed in the digital world to the detriment of your relationships with those who should be closest to you.

 If you feel this could be happening to you, Gary Turk’s video is certainly worth watching and could possibly change your perspective on how you live your life.

He says: “Look up from your phone, shut down that display. Live your life the real way.”

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