These days, it seems like everyone from 8 to 88 is engaged in some sort of social media. I read the other day that in 2011 a trend developed showing a decrease in texting and a comparable increase in communicating via Facebook and Twitter. Somewhere along the way, it has become “uncool” to pick up the phone to have a conversation with a friend, and instead we use tiny little keyboards to express ourselves. Without even mentioning the amount of typos and the loss of most punctuation and grammar that this results in, we are losing the sense of a person’s personality, humor, sarcasm, etc. – the essence of that person which is much more evident in a phone conversation, or – dare I say it, a face to face conversation.
That being said, I think that social media is here to stay and actually has many advantages. For business owners, social media can be a highly effective way to get your message out to your target audience, give your company brand recognition, sell your products and services, and position yourself as a leader in your field.
For personal use, social media has given us the ability to share photos and videos with distant friends and relatives around the world or around the corner. It gives us a forum to shout from the mountain tops about the injustices of the world, or to reach out to help someone in need. We are using it to share information, help find lost children, find homes for abandoned pets, raise money for worthwhile charities, send out prayers to those who are ill, and so many other wonderful, purposeful, constructive endeavors that connect us as human beings.
However, in the process of using social media for its advantages, let’s not lose sight of the value of face to face, real time conversations, where we can hear the tone in what’s being said, see the expressions accompanying the words, and even reach out and touch (literally) the person that we’re communicating with.