The exact date is hard to nail down, but sometime in the early part of 2010’s the world shifted to a point where social media became a ubiquitous part of life. Every age group, every company, and everyone with an agenda flocked to various online and phone-based platforms to share their thoughts – whether the masses wanted to listen or not.
The world has changed a lot over the past ten years. And now, more than ever, these core platforms play a crucial role in society. They help people stay connected with friends and family as well as receive news and information.
Over the past few years, increased attention has focused on the effect of social media platforms on individuals. Stereotypes have been intensified and mental health has suffered. Isolation and social distancing haven’t helped, and these issues have only been exacerbated as human interactions declined during stay at home orders. People tend to see the absolute worst or absolute best of things when it is on social media (I know I do). And sometimes we need to take a step back from what is portrayed online to realize that we are all imperfect people trying hard to be the best we can be.
While social media and other channels can be great to stay in touch, nothing can beat a face to face interaction with another person. Whether it is a short exchange with a stranger, or a quick run in with a friend, an in-person interaction can play a big part in overall mood. Direct interactions drive the nuance of any given interaction, helping to show that we do not live in an absolute world and building the connections between people working hard to address their imperfections.
Like any large change in the world, social media has had its positive and negative effects. Real time relaying of information, by anyone, greatly empowers society to highlight truths and engage with others. At the same time, it can lead to disconnection that can only be satisfied with face to face interaction. The in person “how are you doing’s” need to be appreciated for what they are – genuine and true human, real-time interactions that cannot be replicated on social media.
References: McLean Hospital – ‘Like’ It or Not, Social Media’s Affecting Your Mental Health – https://www.mcleanhospital.org/news/it-or-not-social-medias-affecting-your-mental-health