Some people still think that spending hours a day in social media every day means that they are more social than ever – befriending, commenting, liking, sharing, posting, messaging, and whatever else. And, in case of a few people it might even be true, but in case of many others the real question is whether it’s making them more anti-social.
Even president Obama once said that “Social media is a really powerful tool for people of common interests to convene and get to know each other and connect. But then it’s important for them to get offline, meet in a pub, meet at a place of worship, meet in a neighbourhood and get to know each other.”
According to couple of scientific studies, being social in social media means different things for different people. For example, those people who have always been outgoing and have lots of friends continue to be outgoing and have lots of friends even though they are very social in social media as well. In case of them they don’t replace going out with being social online. But in case of introverts the opposite might be true, and social media might actually make them go out less and be less social in real life.
There’s some scientific evidence that for some people using social media can be bad for their psychological health due to the fact that people feel lonelier than ever, and their self-esteem only drops after seeing people share joyful moments. Because some people need to compare themselves with others and the lives of other people look a lot more exciting than their own lives. Although, we all know that people tend to boast a lot in social media, and your boring vacation in the Caribbean might actually have been boring and sweaty as hell, although your pictures were pretty.
I remember once standing outside of a bar, drinking beer and having a cigarette, talking to some people, and then one shy foreign girl who hadn’t been in a bar before, a girl nobody knew, came to us and asked if she could have a picture with us and let’s make it a real fun picture. She took the photo/selfie with us, and went her own way. What is this kind of picture good for? Nothing. But for her, it was a way to show people in her online social circles how many new people she had met during her travels. But how is that any good? We would have loved to get to know her, but she didn’t care about the actual experience of actually talking to people and getting to know them a little better, and maybe even having lots of fun. She only cared about leaving the impression that she was having fun.
You can do lots of things in the internet – you can buy online lottery tickets, you can book your travels, you can learn new things, you can even talk to people you otherwise would have never heard of, but nothing can replace the real experience of actually going out and having fun.