Social Media – has the bubble burst?

I have several social media accounts: I Tweet, I Snap, and more.

Lately I’ve tired of the whole thing.

It’s not the funny cat pictures or the posts that go “I know 90% of my friends won’t repost this….”

Today it was the little dictators who mediate a local history page.

It’s all too impersonally personal.

I like a good row and have stood toe to toe with some real nasties in my time.

However, standing toe to toe isn’t what you get on here is it? This internet thing is anonymous so you can be unreasonable as you like. You can be bold with your keyboard.

Look me in the eye. Talk to me and see how you get on.

Our society is slipping into a faceless place where sharp words have no repercussions.

Apparently youngsters (6 out of 10 12-17 year olds – Kings College) feel lonely.

Lonely.

My teen years were spent doing paper rounds, mixing with local kids in Melbourne, and later snogging and drinking. I cut my social teeth on casual acquaintances sorting the potential pal from the potential beating.

Lonely? Nope.

Eye contact, voice intonation, body language, facial tics – all of these were part of my armoury before I even knew they existed. College just put names to things I knew, but they were already there.

The culture of Social Friends, a misnomer if ever there was one, is crippling our youth. At 12 I had no idea how to make friends, I just did it. Popular kids were a mystery to me: they moved through the yard like magicians gathering folk as they went. Sociability was part of our bones, not something we picked the bones of.

Oh you’ll like this! I read that kids are developing “horns”, actually bony spurs under the base of their skull at the top of their neck because of the strain of bowing their heads – the body compensates by calcifying the tendons apparently. This link is the Mirrors version but it first appeared in the Washington Post.

I digress.

Conversation is key.

SM lures us into saying too much. I haven’t got the words nor the interest nor the subject matter to talk to you all day.

But they do.

The incessant thumb-chatter all about nothing so that when they start to use their lips and voice to talk, it comes out as prattle. They witter on in tiny boring detail about something that made them laugh.

Ask them to sit, as my wife and I do, and say nothing for hours other than “cuppa?” and They just can’t do it.

Listening skills are waning too to the point where I refuse to repeat myself anymore. Everything I say is met with a “padn” because they lack the skill to actually hear my words.

General knowledge is seen as a modern wonder now. Anything I come up with which is seen as obscure is met with “didja Google it?”

Retention of facts is declining as our youngsters drift into an Orwellian future where information is in their palm, “friendship” is at their thumb tip and emotional growth through social interaction is a thing of the past…..

Oh, hang on, we’re already there ……..

5 thoughts on “Social Media – has the bubble burst?

  1. I think young people, at least the mature ones, are also growing weary of the chatter on FB, Tw**tr and other social media. My son and older daughter both deleted their FB accounts, partly because of the revelations that FB was selling personal data to highly questionable researchers and was host to trolls who used “fake news” to influence the US elections; and partly because they were fed up with the fake ‘friends’ who tried to befriend them on social media. (Half of them were trying to sell something, while the other half were looking to use the kids’ homes as hotel rooms for their next vacation.)

    My younger daughter says she can’t delete her account because her coworkers and professional associates use FB to send messages and invite people to networking events and parties, events she needs to attend to keep up in her line of technology. Which makes me cringe: I can’t imagine having colleagues who only communicate with me via a website where I talk about my grandchildren and children and other aspects of my personal life that I’d really rather they not know about. But I do think the tide is turning, even if it is slow and moves by millimeters.

    My son also observed that there are “a lot of old people” on social media. I don’t know about “a lot,” but I am surprised by the number of friends my age who not only are very active on SM, but who retweet hateful garbage and the most awful misinformation. I lost one friend whom I’d known for years, owing to the fact she kept retweeting things said by the current US president, some it quite negative towards Mexicans, Muslims, and immigrants. I finally confronted her via email, asking her, “Do you actually believe this stuff? Because I know you’re not at all like this in person. You adopted two children from outside of the country. Surely you don’t feel that way about them or my immigrant son-in-law and his family, do you?” I didn’t think what I said was offensive, and I made sure I brought up all the nice things she had done for me. But I never heard from her again, and she blocked me on Tw****r. So—so much for social media improving relationships and making us all closer.

    But yes, talking face to face is the best anecdote to the alienation that’s been going on recently. Of course, there are some people you just can’t carry a civil discussion with, and that’s fine. I just won’t talk with them. But social media gives them a platform and allows them to “shout” in my face about their views, unless I block them. But I weary too of the endless disagreements and chatter. Maybe we should lead the way and delete our accounts.

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    1. As regards the work based social media, both my older daughters found they had to join various fb and Insta groups. I think the illusion of SM is that your popular. I went through the whole numbers thing on here, posting for hits using blogger site tags. Until I realised I didn’t care. Oh by the way your daughter can have a messenger account without a fb page account – you use your phone number. FB is by far the worse as it’s the haven of, as my children call us, Olds. Inst is great for seeing pics. Snap is a bit too personal with a location map and folk posting pics and vids every two minutes. I really can’t be bothered any more. Blogging still nice tho because I get to chat with you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good to read you again. I missed your posts.
    I got out of all forms of SM (except blogging, but is blogging social media?) because I felt that constant engagement in other people’s thoughts was leaving no time for my own. This, in turn, left me without an identity.
    My daughter, a teenager, is on many forms of social media, and I worry about her. She is not a social person in the first place (in real life, i.e.), and social media is not doing her already poor social skills any good. But then, I am not a social butterfly myself, so I don’t even know how to go about this. So far, other than her (in my opinion) addiction to following other people’s posts on Tumblr and Insta, she is not too bad, but what do I know?
    Sigh. Too old for this, Dave, I am.

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      1. I suppose its like any tool, it depends on how you use it. SM is fab for organising a sponsored walk or a get together with friends. However, at the level its used by children, its an all involving time consuming nonsense. The sacrifice we make is one of privacy. Also, if we say it all with our thumbs, what is there to talk about when we meet?
        So glad you’re still around: Textricator -love it.

        Liked by 1 person

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