As the world progresses and we see ourselves moving more and more into a social media world, how often do we consider the effects it is having on our everyday lives and interactions? I mean, ten years ago nobody really employed blogs let alone used one themselves personally or professionally. But take a look at today’s world and it’s not hard to see how far we’ve come from our pre-blog days. Technorati currently states it is tracking roughly 113 million blogs, a number which anyone person of any age can respect. I mean, 113 million people using blogs either professionally or professionally? That’s 113 million people that are posting their lives, information and personalities on the web in the attempt to make themselves known to the world. There are over 500 million active users on Facebook. And Twitter? A shade over 100 million users. Don’t believe me? See for yourself: Call me old fashioned, but something about this just doesn’t seem personal at all.
We have moved into a world where face-to-face interactions and personal relationships are slowly being traded for online interactions and the ability to “connect” with the maximum amount of people over the shortest period of time. Today, the number of Twitter followers and Facebook friends one has is more important than how many times they have picked up the phone and held a worthwhile, extended conversation with someone that they truly care about. Is it just me, or has the desire to become more versatile and recognized in the social media world trumped the value of investing time and effort into fewer relationships? I feel like we’ve become a society obsessed with being a mile wide and an inch deep; not the other way around.
But I’ll get off my soapbox now. Because at the end of the day what I say about it will more than likely be written off as old-school, too outdated, certainly way too behind the times. I guess this is the world we live in. A world that would rather invest its time maintaining a thousand Facebook friends and retweeting to all their new “friends” they “met” online at the blogging forum they spent 11 minutes on during their lunch break. And what would I know? I’m just a kid that enjoys having lunch with those I truly know and engaging in substantial conversations whose quotes won’t end up being tweeted. A guy who can’t seem to shake the feeling that the real world is founded on one’s ability to be personable and interact well with others in person. A guy that sees the importance of the online world as just a little bit overvalued and the worth of personal outreach a little too underappreciated. I guess it’s just a sign of the times…
University of Minnesota