Saturday, March 8, 2014

Is Social Media Making Us Lonely?




             In 1985 ten percent of Americans had no one they felt they could discus important matters with. In 2004 that amount increased to 25 percent. With the ability to reach so many people and reconnect with ‘old friends’ why is this number going up? According to studies, 20 percent or 60 million people are unhappy due to loneliness.  
Do you find yourself checking facebook every morning like it is the morning paper? Do you check text messages or tweets while you’re with other people? We’ve all done that, but to what extent is it acceptable? Communicating through text messages, e-mail and tweets allows us to present ourselves the way we want to be perceived. We can edit or delete a message before we let ourselves sound too stupid. Sometimes on facebook, I think people should use the ‘delete post’ a little more often but that’s just my opinion. Are we losing our ability to honestly and genuinely communicate with each other thus causing the loneliness?   
Did you know, some restaurants are offering discounts to quests that check their cell phones at the door? We now need encouragement and incentive to engage, live in the moment and talk with our families. My sister’s and I joke about the simple life our parents lived, but they could go in any direction of their home and have someone that would drop whatever they were doing and help. Can we say that today? In this electronic age, I guess it is up to each of us to unplug and get back to the basics of family and friends and connect with the people around us on a personal level instead of just “liking” posts.   

Victoria Roder lives in Central Wisconsin with her husband and house full of pets. She is the author of paranormal thriller Haunting of Ingersull Penitentiary, action thriller Bolt Action, paranormal romance The Dream House Visions and Nightmares. Picture books An Important Job to Do: A Noah’s Ark Tale, What If A Zebra Had Triangles? and children’s chapter books, Sled Dog Tales and The Curse of King Ramesses II, an inspirational book It’s Not You, It’s Them: Six Choices to Healing & Thriving After Abuse, and puzzle book Directions For Life. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies. Please visit Victoria at www.victoriaroder.com
       

5 comments:

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

The problem of connecting is two-fold. We are so busy being friendly and informed, we neglect those in our lives who need our connections the most -- like immediate family.

And there is the presentation factor. We want our loved ones to find us lovable: slender, bright, and healthy. Bad news might indicate a problem they’d have to drop everything to handle.

Our three children are involved in work that requires them to use social media and meeting technologies for business. It's easy to relegate us to private and off line. We have to phone and wait for the return calls, a time when they are not so busy. As we say in our fiction, "How long before someone discovered the bodies?"

Believe me, it's a possibility.

Heather said...

Excellent post. Social media. People share things they shouldn't, and don't share what needs told.
Unfortunately, social media is a necessary evil. It is the easiest was to stay in touch and let others know what's happening. I did say easiest, not the only way.
Heather G - Natasha Saga

Marsha said...

I love chatting on blogs. Too much. The time I spend on that and FB and Twitter, I need to be wriging. But if we don't make those connections, we don't sell books. At least that's what all the "experts" tell us. I have yet to find a way to balance it all. I'm thinking of a timer.
Combined with an email system that is messed up, I'm very frustrated. But you know, having said all that, I'm darned lucky to have these problems. I'm a pubbed author! Good post.

Big Mike said...

Think this disintegration of human relationships shows up in many macro indicates of our society's unstable nature. Just saw where 41% of babies are born to unwed mothers compared to 6% in 1950. Traditional connections just don't seem to be viewed like they used to be.

BM

Victoria Roder said...

Checking in on social media can really be a time stealer for me, too. I agree it is a necessary evil. I can hear my mom's voice, "Everything in moderation."