Social Media Stole My Social Life

Before the internet – and particularly before social media, I had a social life! What the hell happened? 

Before Social Media (BSM)

Time was, as a child, I would spend ALL my spare time playing on the street, riding bikes, goofing around in playgrounds, or rec’s, as they were once called!

Saturdays would see me, my brother and best friend take a bus to town with our 20 pence pocket money to watch the morning matinee! In later years, I would add swimming at the city pool, and then roller-skating at the Corn Exchange! All hugely social pastimes!

Having left school, the social sphere altered. Now I had to work for a living, making new friends along the way with whom I’d meet up at lunchtimes and we’d go to the pub – and before long – those relationships transitioned into our days off and evening activities. There was little else to do!

Social Life Takes a First Hit

Then new alliances were formed. Girls entered my life in a more ‘serious’ way and my social circles altered once again.

Marriage, Kids and Work

The internet takes hold and along with increased working – to satisfy the apparent instant gratification which required feeding, social life takes a big hit. Now I’m spending what little ‘spare’ time I have learning how to fix/upgrade the PC.

Social Media Arrives

…and gradually, insipidly and without so much as a word of warning I am reminded  I haven’t seen my life-long best friend for more than a decade or any other friends with whom I have so many carefree and wonderful memories.

So I Reflect

I have been learning about, well… about ME while I’ve been away from the pubs and clubs. I’ve realised I appear to be quite the introvert, enjoying his own company – not lonely at all. Yet now, I have more knowledge of more people from around the globe than I have ever known before!

How Very Convenient (24/7)

I have less energy now I’m older. That’s fine because I don’t need to go to the cash-point/ATM to go out tonight. I don’t need to choose clothes I hope I’ll look good in and try to impress others… [bctt tweet=”because behind my computer screen, I can be anyone, with anyone” username=”BobBrotchie”] …and it costs very, very little, in cash or energy.

Social Media – A Wider Purpose

An excerpt from Social Media Matures into Viable, Valuable Communications Tool:

Social media and mobile technology also are enabling government to reach portions of the Upopulation that have been historically disenfranchised. The Pew Internet Project discovered that 49 percent of Hispanics and 48 percent of blacks, compared to 36 percent of whites, are accessing social media from their cell phones.

Moreover, in a 2010 Pew report, Government Online, author Aaron Smith says:

“Minority Americans are significantly more likely than whites to agree strongly with the statement that government outreach using tools such as blogs, social networking sites, or text messaging ‘helps people be more informed about what the government is doing’ and ‘makes government agencies and officials more accessible.'”

Recognizing these trends and realizing that social media and mobile technology present fresh opportunities to engage and educate an increasingly diverse number of citizens, virtually every government agency has launched and maintained some form of social media presence to achieve its mission.

Social Media for Business

Taken from the article Shopping and Word-of-Mouth Intentions on Social Media:

Social media has managed to revolutionize the way Internet users communicate and interact with each other within a very short period. Users have adopted in masses many such websites, taking advantage of the free services that they offer, enabling them to stay connected with their friends, meet new acquaintances, share user-generated content such as photos, videos and text, and get informed about news and trends…

The Future

With pubs and many clubs in Britain continuing to face extinction – and everything else being served to us on a plate, how is this going to affect current and future generations and their interactions; their behaviours with each other?

[bctt tweet=”What will be the impact now that (almost) everyone is online?” username=”BobBrotchie”]

Shake Hands… Why?

Maybe we will eventually wonder why anyone shook hands, or wore after-shave/perfume? Maybe we will lose the ability to observe the body language and subtle nuances in our communications? (Maybe we already have?)

Good, Bad or Ugly

So, are we progressing, as ‘civilised’ humans – or regressing –  in some way? Has social media stolen your social life… or added additional value to it? Has it been an welcome/unwelcome visitor in your relationships? (Perhaps your relationship is because of social media?)

Do share and leave your comments.

Now, what did I do with my trousers 🙂

About the author
Bob Brotchie

Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, life coach and creator of Conscious Living by Design™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

Bob provides bespoke counselling services to clients in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).

2 Comments

  1. Social media was a godsend when my home was my only refuge from my fear and I found it very hard to meet up with people. Facebook allowed me to connect with old friends that I wouldn’t have connected with otherwise. And social media contributed to me meeting my “tribe” through my mental health blog and eventually meeting the one person (when I thought there weren’t any) who had a similar experience to me re mental and spiritual health. I wrote more about it in a guest blog post here: http://digitalmentalhealth.co.uk/wp/my-tribe-feeling-connected-through-social-media/

    Today I feel the need to connect with people face to face. I think that kind of connection is required to grow as a human being… more so than what it takes to come up with 140 characters or something witty to get likes.

    I also think that social media has its place too in moderation. But I think to fully engage in the gift of life and embody what it means to be human, we need to protect those opportunities that facilitate the connection we can have when only in the presence of another human being.

    • Thanks so much Tricia – for dropping by and leaving your views. I completely get where you’re coming from.
      I think social media has made a positive difference to my life – and business but as you mention, in moderation.
      I sadly hear from so many clients for whom careless use of social media results in less than harmonious relationships!
      Overall though, I for one am grateful.

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Social Media Stole My Social Life

by Bob Brotchie time to read: 3 min
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