In This Age of Disconnect
Is Social Networking Causing You To Become Anti-Social?
Social media has blown up in the last 2 decades, but so have mental “roadblocks”.
Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash
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.
Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash
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?
Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash
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.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
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,