Every one of us are on social media in one shape or another, whether it be facebook, twitter, Instagram and the list goes on, but are we really being social?
Let us remember the ‘good old days’ when you walked into a room and were introduced to another person, you struck up a conversation, getting to know more and more about that person as the evening progressed. You may have exchanged telephone numbers and arranged to meet for a coffee during the week, this could have been the start of a beautiful relationship personally or professionally.
So what do we do now? Well let’s take facebook for instance, I have thousands of ‘friends’ on my page but barely know half of them. I accepted their friendship in the promise of getting to know them better, but after accepting, I never ‘see’ or ‘hear’ from them again, I find it strange, why would anyone want to be friends with someone who they don’t interact with? Would we do that in real life, just walk into a room and ignore each other but watch everything you say and do with others? It sounds a little crazy really doesn’t it?
I interact with all my friends in real life on a regular basis, but for the ones that are on my social media pages, I do try to connect at least once a week if not more with each of them, whether privately or by replying to their comments. I spend a lot of my working time on social media so it is lovely to connect with my ‘working’ friends, but in the promise that we are going to meet face to face in the near future.
I know the world has become so much faster for all of us, but I repeat it over and over, the most important aspect of our existence is human connection. Young people are losing the ability to socially interact with each other face to face as they spend so much time talking to each other through their phones and that is even when they are standing next to each other! As adults we should lead by example. If you are friends with people just through social media, try to connect more on it, find out if you are near enough to meet each other that you can arrange to meet up or attend an event on the same date to encourage social connections.
Be mindful in your interactions with others. Jon Kabat-Zinn says " (1) Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness, even for just a few weeks, can bring a variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits." (2). Be aware and mindful of how you feel when you are on your own and when you are in direct contact with another human being, be mindful of how it makes you feel. Our social development and that of our children depends on how we learn to interact in the world.
Let’s take the word ‘social’ literally and be more social. Make time for your friends and get to know them not just through the screen but face to face. If you have business contacts, get to know more about their business and how you may help each other in the future. This world of ours has become an existence of likes, comments, retweets and instant gratitude, but that doesn’t create lasting relationships, and whilst you may have many people behind the screen, who is actually sitting beside you right now?
Go out and meet real people, you may arrange it through social media but get to see their eyes, their smiles, feel their handshakes, their hugs and breathe in human interaction at its best.
I love socialising and being present with the person each moment whether it is online or in person.