Is your social network making you anti-social? A recent SheSpeaks poll found that our members think social media makes us anti-social. More than half of us, almost 52%, said that by using sites like Facebook we have less face time (no... we’re not talking about the popular iPhone app) with loved ones.
It may sound a bit ironic, but many people who “connect” daily with friends on sites like Twitter and Facebook report feeling that they are socializing less and less in the real world. Does connecting with friends and family on social media rather than face-to-face mean we are becoming more anti-social? It may depend on how we define being social in our new tech-saturated world.
According to Associate Professor of radio-TV-film at the University of Texas S. Craig Watkins, who has been studying the social effects of social media, Facebook may actually be creating stronger bonds between individuals.
Watkins explains, “Our findings indicate that Facebook is not supplanting face-to-face interactions among friends, family and colleagues. In fact, we believe there is sufficient evidence that social media affords opportunities for new expressions of friendship, intimacy and community."
Watkins has also found that men and women connect in different ways on social media, with women perhaps taking on a more intimate or personal way of communicating. He found that women are more like to share photos from family events while men share more news stories with their network of friends.
Do you think social media helps strengthen bonds within social circles or does it make us more anti-social?
Do your status updates help make up for a lack of face-to-face time with friends?
This is a tricky one. In some respects I say yes. I think technology in general (social media, mobile texting, etc.) has allowed people to remain by themselves. You can stay in your room and still manage to touch the "outside" world to some capacity. Even still, that doesn't mean you're socializing. At the same time, we have access to parts of the world we may never have been able to do without technology. Just see what social media did for Tunisia or Libya. We're "socializing" with people so far away like we've never been able to do so easily before. So as far as the poll goes, out of those three choices I'd say the third. It's the same but only because social media has given us another way to communicate with one another. Great article and interesting poll insights.
I think it's ok to use with people you have lost touch with or a keep in touch with a friend or family members who live away from each other. Otherwise, I think it's over rated and a big time waster.