Social media has blown up in the last 2 decades, but so have mental “roadblocks”.
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I’m a 90's kid, so I guess I just remember one’s social life looking differently.
I remember in the early 2000's when I was pestered to join this new thing called “Facebook”. It sounded so stupid, I insisted I will never join – in December of 2007 (the night I met my husband) I broke down and joined the ranks! Part of me definitely appreciates it as I get older, I can look back and find certain memories I otherwise wouldn’t have. On the other hand, look what it’s doing to our society.
I can’t say much on the statistics for the 90's as social anxiety was just beginning to be recognized as a “mental disorder”. But, using data from the 2002 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), research showed just over 2 million Canadians aged 15 or older (8% of the total population) reported they had a “lifetime history” of social anxiety disorder. The onset of this “disorder” seems to be typically seen around 13 years of age. Fast forward – In 2013 it was reported that approximately 11% of Canadians were diagnosed with some form of anxiety or mood disorder.
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What ever happened to basic human interaction?
Who picks up a phone and actually TALKS to someone on it? And no, your bill collectors don’t count!
How often do you just call up a girlfriend and chat for no reason at all?
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I don’t know about you but everyone I know uses texts and other messaging through their phone when they need to say something, no matter how brief or serious, and it really is not the same!
I miss being a kid and always talking one-on-one with my friends and relatives! (And no, I’m not that old!) I miss talking on the phone for hours on end. Even when I used the computer chats back then (msn, yahoo, ICQ – I am that old haha), it still eventually lead back to using the phone OR connecting in person.
Now that everything is done thoughtfully through text, I’ve found I actually have a hard time having ‘on the spot’ conversations!
My oldest started school in 2013 and I was finally ‘pushed’ back into live social opportunities that I hadn’t been very close to since I stopped working in 2008. Let me tell you, being someone who’d spent the better part of 5 years shut away with only texting and Facebooking, I felt extremely intimidated walking into school with all these other parents who’d grown up together and were already talking to one another!
It took about a year – thanks to my daughter – for me to find a few moms that I could start having conversations with. I still can’t have a random conversation without clamming up or having my mind go completely blank even with people I know! I never know what to say until 5 or 10 minutes after it’s too late to say anything and by then it would just be awkward – much like how I feel I’ve become. It seems I don’t know how to communicate anymore without that 5 or 10 minute buffer that texting can give you.
Call me crazy, but I just miss simple human interaction – hugging, playful touching / goofing off, and simply the sound of someone else’ voice – that isn’t my child’s or husbands!
Now, with the restrictions that have been put into place – what do you think that’s going to do to our society? Maybe it’s just me, but I feel sorry for our future generations who don’t get the opportunity to grow up knowing true human contact!
I’ve seen kids as young as 5 going to school with cell phones. Even in schools before the pandemic, where children learn the beginning of their basic social abilities, they were instructed to limit their physical contact.
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I don’t know where our society is headed socially, but if this trend continues, It doesn’t appear we’ll be very connected.
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Until next time,