Has social networking damaged your social life? A strange question to ponder don’t you think? Your sitting there thinking to yourself what is this guy on, thats impossible. But is it impossible, is it so difficult to imagine that social networking in one way or another has had some negative impact on your social life?
The fact is, its true, social networking can very well, impose negatively onto your life outside of the bright lights gleaming from your monitor. Millions of people these days find themselves rushing home from school and work to log on and see what happened while they were away, what did their “friends” say, has anyone new visited their profile, all of which are questions asked by social addicts. What did all of these people do before MySpace, Facebook and others?
It would be safe to assume that rather than rushing home to the Internet they maybe stopped by a friends house, or took their family out to a nice dinner, or possibly they met some friends for drinks on a Friday night. All of these are classified as social behavior, you are building a community around reality, around life rather than a box filled with wires and circuit boards.
Aside from the fact that you now don’t get out much, lets say you are very popular online and have built a very lengthy list of friends across several platforms. That makes this theory wrong then, correct? Absolutely not. The term friends has become nothing more than a marketing tactic, its not nearly as interesting and friendly to call them your MySpace Internet Acquaintances Whom You Have Never Met.
Consider this, would you ever ask the people from your friends’ list to dinner, or how about to a ball game, I doubt it because you don’t really know them, you have no idea who is actually behind the profile you know so well, so you would probably not feel very comfortable inviting them over.
In short that means you have spent countless hours building friendships, with people that are actually anything but friends. The worst part is that in the meantime you have barricaded yourself in your office or mom’s basement and pushed away the people that really matter to you, which in turn has killed your social life, make sense?
You have now managed to cut all ties with friends to make friends with people that are not actually friends. Which would lead a person to believe that social networking can disrupt your social life.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way an anti-social network type of person, in fact I promote social networking, but as with anything else good it has to be used in moderation. Before you become so enclosed in this virtual world, you must also remember and focus on those who mean the most to you. You have to have a social life outside of social networking or you have really defeated the purpose getting involved all together.
Sujan Patel is Director of Search at Single Grain, which specializes in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing