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… because behind my computer screen, I can be anyone, with anyone… 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 US population 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…
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? What will be the impact now that (almost) everyone is online?
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 🙂
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant 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 individuals and couples 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).