Most of us use social media. That’s probably how you found this blog. And most of us can point to good experiences from that — maybe seeing photos of a close friend’s wedding you couldn’t attend or that inspirational quote that popped into your feed on a bad day and made you smile.
Then there’s the dark side. You’ve probably experienced some of that as well.
We’ve lost a lot through the rise of social media. Here’s an in memoriam to some of these.
1. Face-to-face contact
Social media is contradictory. It puts us in virtual contact with people all over the world, yet we’re isolated, stuck in front of a screen in our rooms. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with virtual communication. But when it gets to the point where you’re hardly ever going out to see people in person, then you miss out on many potentially memorable moments.
2. The nuances of communication
Communication via social media is much more susceptible to misinterpretation than talking to someone on the phone or face-to-face. Our voices and facial expressions help make our meaning clear. Unless you’re video chatting, you miss these cues when messaging on social media.
So many problems can be averted by simply picking up the phone and calling someone or meeting them in person.
Social media is one of the main kindness killers. Few moments are as toxic as debates on social media, whether it’s something as serious as politics or as light-hearted as food preferences. It’s as if the anonymity of the screen draws the inner monster out of people, causing them to say things they’d think twice about in someone’s presence.
Social media fuels fake perceptions about people. We’re talking about all those obnoxious photos and videos that are obviously staged to make it look like the person is living the perfect life.
This can make you feel depressed about your own life. Just remember that these photos and videos aren’t telling the whole story. Recent cases of popular social media personalities struggling with addiction or being brutally murdered show that their lives weren’t all they seemed to be…
How to restore what social media destroyed
We’re not telling you to completely get rid of your social media. But there are actions you can take to bring more balance to your life.
You can start by only having social media accessible on your computer, rather than your phone. That way you’re forced to plug for a while, as you go about your daily activities.
Also, consider whether you’re signing up for a certain social media platform for legitimate reasons or simply to be part of the in-crowd. For example, maybe you enjoy Facebook because you can keep up with family on the other side of the country and you enjoy posts from your favorite organizations. If you have the urge to join another platform, say TikTok, ask yourself why that interests you. Don’t do it just because it’s trendy.
Finally, make time to actually get together with people and connect with them over the phone. The connection social media gives us to people can’t beat the experience of hanging out with someone and enjoying their company without a screen and keyboard getting in the way.