Is Social Media ruining our ability to socialise?

The internet has 3.17 billion users. Let that number sink in. Now 2.3 billion of those users are active on social media. After reading an interesting article on 96 Amazing Social Media Statistics and Facts for 2016, I  quickly got dragged into a deep wormhole of thought. Technology is evidently everywhere. Our society is one providing information we need want at the open of an app. Gone are the days people discovered news from a newspaper delivery to their homes. What’s more social media is obviously reigning supreme, and human interaction is feebly trying to hold on.

Man on phone on train

How many of us interact with others through social media everyday? Be it replying to a tweet, getting involved in a twitter chat, responding to comments on any platform or even Whats App’ing and text messaging as they loosely fall under this category too. We all do it. What’s more we all do it every single day. A lot. Especially if your hobby and/or business is internet/technology based. It’s a must in order to keep active and present, fully understandable too but do we know when to truly switch to sleep mode on social media and technology? Or is it a concept that’s lost to us. We make a conscious decision every day to be involved in the world of social media, can we say the same about regular human interactions?

Did you know that according to a 2015 report in The Telegraph , the average person has not one but FIVE social media accounts and can spend upwards of 1 hour and 40 minutes a day skimming through them, if you’re a Briton it’s likely to be 1 hour and 20 minutes across FOUR social media accounts. How insane is that? These days how many of you spend 1 hour and 20 minutes a day socialising in person, (your child, pet, husband or someone in your household who you speak to everyday does not count). I mean – how many of us make an effort to actually make plans, to go out and actually connect with someone in person and what’s more want too. I’ll admit it, I don’t. And if you are one of those people who do (firstly I truly applaud you and your superhuman abilities) how many times do you take out your phone and scroll through during? Again, guilty!

Recently I deleted my personal Facebook account. A rash decision after sitting musing one day over how many of the people on there do I actually consider to be a friend? Not an old school friend or childhood friend who you found online, not a work colleague you make small talk with over the morning coffee break or a friend of a friend. How many are actual friends? People who make an effort to be in my daughters life, people who I could phone at 3am during an emergency, people who I would make plans with. Don’t get me wrong social media can be, and indeed is a wonderful platform for connecting with family members who live far away but let’s be honest, many of us have social media skills better than actual people skills. Flicking through my newsfeed I found myself thinking, why am I on here (as a personal account)? What am I actually gaining, because time clearly isn’t one of them. Social media is clearly robbing me of my free time. I sit reading about other peoples lives day in day out, checking it like a morning newspaper, ‘liking’ all the fun things people are up too ( on social media whilst  on these outings too might I add) and simply feel as if I’m shutting off from my own life and my ability to make plans. Where is the logic in that? So I did it. I cut it out and made a commitment to actually socialise more. Be it a lunch date, a phone call, a quick trip to the local park with fellow mummy friends – I made a change.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying social media is something we need to shut out of our lives, because it’s been very beneficial to me and it is indeed very important to many people in terms of connecting to loved ones. I just mean do we really need to stare at our screens as much as we do. Do we really need to check our notifications first thing in a morning and last at night? Are we missing out on actual life?  Through apps we can’t see our friends/family laugh, react and respond to us, we don’t get to react and feel in response to this – we are bypassing interacting and feeling on a human level. Some days, my hub to be sits scrolling through his news feed, reading pretty generic and repetitive updates,  missing out on our daughter screeching singing and dancing to Frozen’s Let It Go (maybe this is why he was scrolling through hmm). Something that seems so small and insignificant but when our children grow, it’s moments like that we are wish to relive.

So I say, make plans. Live in the moment that little bit more. Arrange a family day out without any social media, commit to a date night without looking at your phone (and if you do, you are dumped with the bill), connect with your friend over lunch rather than Whats App. Even make the effort to send a phone call rather than send a text. Commit to making more of a human interaction, to feeling. Set an example to our younger generation that you don’t need to socialise through a phone or computer. That it’s good for the soul to be able to take a break and what’s more, know when a break is needed to bring the balance back to your life.

Time is gone in the blink of an eye. Don’t let social media/apps/technology steal more than it needs too.

loll

All images used were taken from canva as a free image. 

How often do you use social media purely for entertainment? Do you think you can afford to cut back on the usage? What would you like to change about your social media to socialising life?

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39 thoughts on “Is Social Media ruining our ability to socialise?

  1. I agree – for the most part, but social media can be used for good! My friends and I have a private group on FB which we use to have evening group chats, arrange playdates and share news every day, it really has made our friendship stronger! But I do have an awful lot of people on FB i also haven’t seen or spoken to in years haha. x #picnmix

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lex, it makes me sad when I see a couple out having a meal together and they are both too busy scrolling through their phones to enjoy the moment. It has taken me a while to get the hang of social media and if it weren’t for blogging I probably never would have.

    I may be one of the few that have to make a point to go on it or I would never get there. Twitter and Instagram are my favourites, I do have FB, but I’m not so keen on that.

    I don’t use social media for entertainment or to pass the time. I’d rather read a book or walk the dogs.

    Xx

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    • Agree completely. It can be such a blessing and it’s a wonderfully good thing but sometimes I think we need to live in the actual moment and not document it. I only use social media for blogging now really – and I have a personal Instagram but that’s only with people I know personally :). Thank you for kindly commenting and reading x x

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  3. I totally agree with you on this! social media/the internet is taking over many peoples lives, and I for one don’t want to fall into that trap. I really would like to have a strict timeframe where I can easily switch off. I kind of do it now, I turn off notifications and then I’m not constantly looking at my phone hoping I’ve had some interactions. Deleting facebook for me is such a big move! I feel like of all the social media accounts, facebook is one that is vital to me, I totally respect you for doing that! xxx #ThatFridayLinky

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    • I have done that now. I limit my time on it. Come bedtime my phone gets turned off so no notifications come through and try and drag me back in. It’s a great thing social media but can also just distract us from the real world too. It’s bittersweet. Thanks for coming and reading 🙂 x x

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  4. I’m actually one of those people who rarely uses the cell phone. Ok, that’s not true. I do use it every day. But it’s use is for calls and texts from people that I know and 9 times out of 10 I don’t answer a call or don’t reply to a text until hours later. It’s really a palce to leave me a message. As a blogger I do engage on social media a lot. In my personal life I only go on social media to uplaod new baby pictures every couple of months to keep distant relatives off my back. Technology is a tool and should be used as such. I don’t let it take over real life but I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without it. #fortheloveofBLOG

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    • Agree completely. I use social media purely for blogging mainly. Odd upload on personal accounts every now and again to keep loved ones updated. But sometimes I sit back and think of how many people actually miss out on real time through constant updates. It’s a love hate thing for me I think. But thanks for coming to read and taking the time to comment x

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  5. I definitely think people are too involved with social media. I mainly use it for blogging, so it’s tough to say how much I would be using it if it was for personal use only. One wonderful thing that has happened for me, online and social media wise, is that I am disabled and I have met a whole host of others like me whom have become my friends. I would never make it without them! Stopping by from The Weekend Blog Share!

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    • Yes it’s definitely a good wonderful thing in our life BUT I do believe we need a nice balance. I’m the same. My main purpose is blogging. I cut right down on personal use just because I was posting so many updates when I should have been in the actual moment. It’s wonderful you’ve found such a meaningful means x

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  6. Definitely important to find a good balance. A lot of people I chat to online I’d have never met in real life so it’s been good in that respect. But very important to be in the moment in ‘real life’ too! # ThatFridayLinky

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  7. I struggle with this. With my parents and extended family and friends in one state, a sister in another and my self newly moved due to the husband being in the military away from all of them…the social media thing has let me still be apart of their lives so I find myself checking way more than I intend. The balance has to be there though for fear of turning into those characters from Disneys Wall-E. I used to run a restaurant and I used to be so sad when delivering food to tables and all guests would be on their phones and not engaging with each other. (Why come out to dinner?) Great tips and post! Visiting via #fortheloveofBLOG

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    • Absolutely. It’s a blessing for connecting with people who don’t see much but it’s definitely good to be able to take a break and enjoy living in the moments. Definitely a good balance. Love the reference to WallE. Thanks for reading x

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  8. Fabulous post Lex! I have a love/ hate relationship with Facebook and have recently thought about deleting my personal page too. Well done you for actually hitting that delete button 🙂 #weekendblogshare x

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  9. Yes! Ultimately I think it is as people tend to spend more time on social media staring at their phone than talking to face to face with people. As such when it comes to talking face to face with real people, some people just don’t know how to interact. That being said social media is a great way to stay in with others who are perhaps living far away. Thanks for joining in with #ThatFridayLinky

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this! I am so guilty of checking my phone a lot and spending way too much time online or on social media. Having said that I would say 4/5 days a week, most weeks, I do see other humans for an hour or more. And obviously my husband all the other days haha. I really do want to try and cut down on my phone use. One of my friends only has what’s app on her phone – no twitter or Facebook – which could be a good way for me to go. At least with texting or what’s app you are actually speaking to someone not just mindlessly scrolling! But I am too scared to do it ha. #DreamTeam

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    • I don’t really use my personal accounts anymore. I instagram the odd time, but snapchat is probably my main personal account. I use twitter and social media mainly for blogging. Technology mainly for blogging purposes only. But I do manage and be aware of my use. Thank you for coming to read and wonderful comments – I’m sure you’d be able to cut down easily! x

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  11. #dreamteam I think it’s not as complex as this. Of course we need family time and us time as a priority. It’s more a case of balance. I wouldn’t want to hide away from technology or delete accounts. I want to show my son how to utilise them as he gets older, how to stay safe online and when it’s appropriate to ignore the bing from a text because his in a conversation. Balance allows us to have it all.

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  12. This is a really interesting and thought provoking post. It’s made me realise that I need to speak to people more. I’m very guilty of constantly being on social media and what’s app. However what’s app is a great way that our friendship and NCT group keep in touch, so it does have its plus points. I would love to meet up more with my friends but that’s often tricky, our lives are so busy. I do try every now and then to have a social media free hour to have family time. Thanks for sharing your post with us at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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  13. I hardly ever go on my personal Facebook page these days. I recently wrote about the suck of social media on my life. I try and leave my phone alone now when the kids are awake. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix
    Eilidh x

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  14. It’s probably really terrible, but I actually think you’re really brave for deleting your facebook account. That’s such a first world problem, but I would like to delete mine but I don’t know how to stay in touch with people. Awful! However, I do often meet my mum, my sister or my friends for cups of tea so I’m not doing too badly. And I speak to my best friend who is in America every day on facetime, so does that count as using a social media account, or is that ‘real life interaction’?! #dreamteam

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    • That’s the wonder of social media, its given you the opportunity to stay connected to those who live far away. You sound as if youve got a lovely balance! I just didnt use my personal facebook much so didnt see the point in it anymore 🙂 Thank you for reading x

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  15. I agree partly with this, but social media opens up a world of friends to lonely people who may not see people much in real life. I have way more online friends than I do ones in real life. I avoid my phone on a date night as it’s just rude, but social media definitely has its place 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

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  16. This is a hard one. I have friends that don’t live close geographically and so Facebook helps me to still be a part of their everyday life and I have made new friends online that I have gone on to meet in real life. Social media only enhances my real life thankfully. Thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare. Please check the rules and link your homepage and not an individual .blog post next time. Thanks

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  17. I think it’s so important to get the balance right…I personally find it really hard to switch off from social media and get into a zone of checking FB and Twitter aimlessly…an area I can improve for sure! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam xx

    Liked by 1 person

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