Monday, 12 August 2013

Are Social Networking Sites Crumbling our Communication?

Everyone has Facebook. Even our mums. But does it make it hard for us to speak to people face to face? Have we forgotten how to address people properly and are we being rude when we sit with our faces glued to our iPhones at every given opportunity?

Facebook is great for talking to friends when they're perhaps at other universities and we can't see them as often as we'd like. However, do you really need to write to your flatmate in the next room via the internet something ridiculous, for instance, 'Dude, we've got lecture in 20, you awake mate??'. Just knock on the door and be civilised.

Admittedly we all do the 'look at our phone when we're on our own so we don't feel quite so awkward' scenario. Just to feel a bit less alone while we're waiting for someone or a bus when making eye contact with the gent opposite is too cringey. Yet when we're out having a drink with our friends and they're constantly on their phones, it can make you contemplate why you bothered venturing out of your comfort zone to spend a fortune on a beer, to then be ignored for the duration of the night. Or to be informed several times about someone's relationship status that you've never even met, yet you still feel inclined to say that you can't believe they've got a girlfriend either.

Many people check Facebook in the cinema more often nowadays, which forms all kind of nightmare situations. Imagine you're sat with a massive bucket of popcorn, slurping on a slush and watching the latest horror film with eyes as wide as an owl, (which for the record you've taken out a loan just to be able to be there). Then sat next to you is someone, whether a friend or a stranger, with a phone screen about as bright as the sun, checking to see who likes their profile picture that they uploaded a whole two minutes ago. They then proceed to look gormless and start flailing around screeching 'Oh buzzing! Daz 'The Man' Drayton has liked my profile pic!'. It sort of ruins the moment.

Only being able to communicate with people on the web can make us anti-social in person, not only because we're hooked to the latest gadgets and gizmos but because we can't talk to people correctly. We've forgotten how to converse with our lecturers differently than our friends. Which is fine if your lecturer is hip and down with the kids but not really sufficient vocabulary for approaching a Professor of Medicine.

Eventually people will start to think, 'do I need to go out?', I can just chat online all night and stay in my pyjamas forever. In the end we will become agoraphobics, finding it unnecessary to leave our rooms because we know what everyone else is doing every minute of the day. Would that type of contact with other human beings be enough for us?

Maybe I'm just talking to a wall.


No comments:

Post a Comment