The Social Media Shift

I promise I’ll do a better job of keeping up with posting this week. I’ve got some really exciting news that I’ll be sharing at the end of this week/beginning of next week concerning Next Level Students.

But not just yet. Because this month is the month of love and emotion, and with Valentine’s Day being on Saturday, I want to share something that’s been on my heart and mind: relationships and social media, and how they relate.

Whether we want to admit it or not, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are changing the face of our platonic and romantic relationships. There’s been a shift that was at first subtle and positive, but has taken drastic and negative turn.

I’ve noticed this shift as I’ve become more involved and reliant upon these sites. I didn’t really start seriously dating until I was established and visible on social media (before that, “going on dates” essentially was “walking my ‘girlfriend’ to her locker after class”). I used social media as an extension of communication for my already-established-and-growing relationship, sending short little wall posts and messages to my significant other sporadically.

Back in 2009/2010, social media really was about expanding and growing already existing relationships. 

Fast forward to now. I see others sending those sporadic messages regularly, and as the main source of growing the relationship in the place of face-to-face interaction. Liking statuses has changed (for the most part) from actually agreeing with the statement, to flirting as someone likes every single post that exists on a person’s timeline. Liking insta-photos has (for the most part) changed from actually appreciating what someone shares, to flirting once again.

Social media has replaced intentional, real life communication ad interaction. Students don’t talk to their friends face-to-face and instead just kik or facebook them. Young adults use Tinder to weed out potential mates based on superficial, hand-picked photos instead of actually pursuing the guy or girl with whom they work or go to class and think is cute.

Please tell me you see the problem. This generation (yes, my generation) has turned into a group that is glued to their phones for their only form of interaction.

I’m guilty. Red-handed, video-taped, without a shadow of a doubt guilty. I try to stay a day ahead of my posts, writing today’s post last night. It’s Sunday night when I’m writing this, and I’m on my iPhone 5s in the middle of Panera. I just finished dinner. And I’m not the only person in the restaurant. I’m the perfect example of the downward spiral of my generation.

I issue you, reader, and myself as well, this challenge. Make time for facetime   No, not just the video chat. Actual, face-to-face interaction. Take someone you care about to Aromas or Starbucks. Take your child to dinner and ask them leave his or her phone in the care. Take your significant other on a date and turn your phone on “do not disturb.”

Give your full and undivided attention to someone who you love and care about this week. Just once, at least. Pour into and invest in your relationships. Put away Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,  and every form of social media for the sake of building your connection with someone.

 How have you seen social media influence/change your relationships? Was it a good or bad change? Why?

One thought on “The Social Media Shift

  1. A-to-the-men! I am equal guilty of a social media obsession. Social media has become crutch, an instinctive habit to fill awkward silence or a split second of "free" time. I highly value conversations and interactions in which I don’t feel the magnetic pull to check my phone. The "do not disturb" feature is awesome. I think we could all benefit from using that more.

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