Finding a Balance: Do We Really Know All Our Friends on Social Networks?

I sat down this afternoon to work on transferring posts from my wordpress.com site to my self-hosted site with the mindset of getting my goals accomplished when I came across a video on WordPress. In the beginning, I was searching for how to properly embed a video on the WordPress platform (I usually use the embedded code from YouTube), but I stopped what I was reading and watched this video about a time-lapse day in New York. I was immediately drawn in. As I watched the video, my mind started to think about all the complexities in my life and how everything around me is disconnected because of technology, even though we feel “connected” because of social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

If we look deeply about how we conduct ourselves each day we will notice just how disconnected we are because of technology, it is up to us to separate the two and truly enjoy our surroundings while still being “connected” with those on social media networks.

As I watched this video I noticed a few things:

Beauty of an Active City – I have never seen a city before; I have never stopped to look at how beautiful a city really is because I am always on my phone, checking my stats, reading about who said what on Facebook or Twitter, looking at photos of my family, or reading about how I can better engage my readers. If I would lift my head from my phone and look around, I am sure I would notice the intricacies of architecture and the activity within my city. It seems we take for granted how beautiful everything is that surrounds us.

People Watching – Have you ever sat down to watch people conduct their daily routines? I did this a lot during my younger years (because I didn’t have the distractions of a cellphone) and found it pretty fascinating. One thing I notice now is people do not stop moving. We are always busy to get to the next place while glued to the technology strapped to our heads or the phone planted against our ear. We are busy people. It is amazing how most of us go throughout our day and ignore our surroundings because we are fixated on our destination.

Our So-called “Connection” to Hundreds of Friends – Have you ever looked at the amount of friends you have on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +? Do we really know all these people? Do we meet them in life or only online? These questions run through my mind when I see people with hundreds of friends, even thousands of friends. It does not necessarily mean a bad thing. Would you agree that if we were to look around more often we would notice other interesting people? I think so. A study conducted by Zurich University found people who have more “contacts” on Facebook are more outgoing and interact more on social media networks. In my opinion, we tend to be slightly different people on social networks, our engagement increases because of the missing one on one interaction, but how are we in the “real world?” Are we the extrovert (outgoing) in the real world or the introvert (shy) personality?

Overall, we need to realize we are all disconnected in one way or another. Social networks have given us a chance to keep in touch with those in distant places, but stop once and while and notice what is around you and think of the possibilities of connecting with people outside your social networks. I’m not saying close your Facebook and Twitter accounts, but what would you say to your connections if you got a chance to meet them?

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3 thoughts on “Finding a Balance: Do We Really Know All Our Friends on Social Networks?

  1. Excellent piece. And I absolutely agree. Getting connected sometimes means setting down all the technology. Turning off the television, closing the laptop, throwing the phone on the charger and just unplugging for a while.

  2. Pingback: Please Do NOT Share This If You Agree | Joe's Primal Scream

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