The other day I was having a conversation with a couple of women about internet, boards, twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media. What kind of influence they have on our lives. All of a sudden someone made a statement.
“Social media is not social.”
It got me thinking. I am a person who relies on social media quite a bit. I blog, I tweet, I use WhatsApp, I visit boards and I have even met (new) friends through the internet. Next to that I do rely on internet for my online store. I use Twitter to make myself known, to announce special offers and to keep (future) customers’ attention.
So at first I had to disagree with her. And trust me I did, but I also kept it down as I was not looking to pick a fight. But when I shut my MacBook yesterday evening because I was done staring at the screen and wanted to do something fun (read; not work related) I realised how much the 2.0 world has infiltrated my life.
Personally I share my life through Twitter, this blog and on some boards. It allows me to have a platform for sharing my writing, recipes and I can rant and vent whenever I feel the need to do so. I don’t mind. I like it that way, it’s quite anonymous. Can you imagine me calling my Mother In Law to vent about her son’s behaviour? Telling my mom how I really feel about her? Or yelling at the neighbours, because I feel their neighbourly ways s*ck? I’d have many enemies and not so many friends.
Through Twitter and a couple of boards I have learned things I never could have imagined to learn and I have met people that are very dear to me who I would have never met otherwise. The trick is to balance. Socialise through internet and go to a bar for a drink with friends. The best of both worlds. It’s not that hard.
It works for me, because I can discuss things with my GMT+1 friends that I can’t discuss with my 2.0 friends and vice versa. I learn about different countries from my Twitter friends, I get sucked into local activities by my Real Life friends. But most importantly; I learn and my, already very wide, world has broadened even more.
Social media is not social in traditional ways, but I do think it does have a huge social function. It enables us to learn new things, to meet people all over to world and to learn about other cultures. Which, in modern times where misunderstanding and hatred are playing a huge roll, I think is very important.
With the worldwide misunderstandings about almost everything I believe that learning about each other’s habits, cultures and lives is a treasure. Social media, whether it’s a (fan)board, Twitter, Facebook or any other form allows us to come closer together.
So yes, if you technically look at it Social Media is not social. At all. It doesn’t even come close to sharing a drink with a group of friends in a bar. Although, in all honesty, I have been to some pretty awesome online parties. Just imagine a bunch of people from all over the world ‘getting together’ watching an episodes of their favourite show and sharing their thoughts (and squeals) over Twitter. Yes, drinks were involved.
I might not worry about the addictive nature of all this as much as some would, because I believe that I can keep it under control. But on the other hand, it can’t hurt to take a break once in a while and keep a little distance.
So, Social Media? I think it’s pretty social actually. And yes, I do have a social life outside of the 2.0 realm. My MacBook needs a break once in a while.
PS) And don’t you just love Google? I just adore how it allows me to find whatever information I want in very little time.