Staying Connected

What do you think about online social networking?  Does it make you feel more connected, or less?  This article made me think about the ways in which we connect to one another.  I used to spend hours on the phone; in those dark days before call waiting, my parents were always telling me to wrap up phone conversations.  In recent years, not so much– kind of ironic considering I now have a cell phone on me at all times.  I find that I spend more time communicating with more people these days, but those long conversations are reserved for only a few people, and they’re far less frequent than I’d like them to be.

Postcard from c. 1910

I imagine that part of this is just life happening– as we get older, our lives fill up with careers and family and a few close friends– but I also wonder if the sheer availability of everyone makes us less likely to have those long, intimate conversations in a non-virtual setting.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m as Facebook-addicted as the next person, and I love that I can share the details of my life with far-flung family and friends, and that they can share things with me.  We absolutely have more daily interaction than we would without an online social network.  We control so much of what we present to the world online though, and I think that’s what makes more personal interactions a bit more authentic, even if our “face to face” is over a phone.  Maybe more frequent technology breaks are the answer?

-Irene

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Staying Connected

  1. Maria

    I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it because it sometimes feels like something else I have to do. I actually prefer Twitter to Facebook but use FB to stay in touch with my Michigan friends & family. I have always hated the phone, preferring to use it to set up face to face meetings. And because I use the computer so much at work I do abstain entire weekends from it…and it feels great!

  2. Social networking definitely makes me feel disconnected. I feel like I need to have Facebook and Twitter in order to keep up with what’s going on in my friends’ lives — and since my age group has a habit of sharing just about everything (with the exception of myself and those like me – I have FB but never update it and only use Twitter in connection with my blog), people assume that everyone already knows what’s going on in their life. There’s no need for a catch-up phone call or taking a spare hour together at the coffee shop to have a conversation, because it’s assumed that you already saw it online.
    When I was a kid I hated talking on the phone, but now I take every opportunity to do it because it feels so much more personal than just reading a tweet or Facebook update.

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