Is Social Media Making Us Unsocial?
“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction’’
– Albert Einstein
How many times have you found yourself sitting in a restaurant only to see your friends glued to their iPhone screens within minutes of meeting or perhaps your boyfriend is paying his phone more attention than you? FOMO is rampant among us and we are yet to find a cure. Good conversation and train of thought is often spoiled and sometimes ruined with our incessant need to ‘like’ something, tweet it or Instagram it.
As much as I think I would feel lost without my iPhone, we need to learn to compromise and realise the importance of face-to-face interaction over social media. In today’s world we are constantly bombarded with overloaded information online. I guess our real challenge now is to find quality information rather than quantity. In his book ‘The Purple Cow’, Seth Godin speaks about being remarkable. He took his all American family to France were they saw a cow for a first time. His family members got really excited when they spotted their first cow, but soon after seeing lots of cattle field after field they soon got bored. They wanted to see a purple cow. This is what the online world is like. We want to see remarkable things. The Internet is full of information. We want to be entertained. What we want to see has to be the latest, funniest and most interesting because we have seen so much online already. How often have you gone to show a friend a funny video only to hear ‘oh yeah, I watched that last week’?
Facebook has a purpose for people to ‘connect and share’. This taps into one of our many psychological needs and for that reason Facebook and similar social networking sites will always be around. We feel the need to document our lives and share it online, along with the instant satisfaction that comes from seeing something you are doing or your opinion is ‘liked’ by your friends. According to a survey conducted by The Social Bakers the average Irish person spends 19.5 hours a week online. It’s a lot of time. Can we really not switch off our smart phones on an evening out to enjoy one another’s company and how long will it be until FOMO kicks in?
So what do we do? How about the next time you are in the company of friends collect everyone’s iPhones, iPads and tablets and place them at the edge of the table. First person to pick up their phone before the meal or drinks are over has to pick up the bill. That will make everyone think twice when there is an urge to Google something.
The off-line glass has been designed by a Brazilian advert agency. Tried and tested in Salve Bar in São Paulo, the off-line glass only stands up straight if it rests on a mobile phone. If you want your glass to stand you have to put down your phone. As innovative and entertaining social media is I think we need to find a time and place. Next time you go to grab your phone to send a Snapchat to a friend just think, it might cost you the price of everyone’s bill!
Photos c/o fooddaily.com.au, jostle.me