Is the Connection part of Social Media Making us More Lonely?
I've been doing extensive research on the effects of social media on the teen culture. Remember, this is the first generation growing up in a world where Social Media and Web 2.0 is a reality. They don't know life without Facebook, YouTube, Google, or Twitter. Their whole lives have been connected through a series of messages, videos, and 140 character tweets.
So the question at hand is, Does social media actually do its perceived job of connecting people?
And there's no question in my mind. The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES!
We've been able to connect with people we haven't seen in years. Old classmates, new friends, and people with similar interests are connected like never before. We can message people, inform dates and calendar events, talk about the latest homework assignments, or just talk about what's going on in our world...ALL FROM THE TOUCH OF OUR CELL PHONES.
It's an unbelievable mobile world we live in, but what of connecting? Really connecting?
I was recently at a youth event and I asked the students "Who in this group post pictures of themselves in their most depressed time?"
Let it be known...NO HANDS WENT UP.
"So when you're cruising facebook looking at everyone else's pictures, do you ever picture the people you're creeping on having a bad day?"
One student realized where I was going and responded, "No, it just seems like everyone else is having more fun than I am."
"Exactly!" I was so excited someone was actually tracking with me.
"You see, what happens in our illusion of connection is a euphoric ideal that the world is 'better' out there. Everyone else has life figured out. They're eating good foods. They're going on exotic vacations. They're hanging out with popular friends and celebrities. But in reality, they experience the same life you do.
Put a different way....
When you're creeping on the Facebook pictures of someone else thinking to yourself, 'Man, their life is awesome, and I'm so depressed.' They are actually doing the same thing to your photos on their end. They're cruising through all your highlight pictures and thinking, 'Man, their life is awesome, and I'm so depressed.' (obviously depression is overstated for the analogy) But the point remains the same. We all think everyone else has life figured out while we're struggling."
The truth is, WE ALL HAVE ISSUES. We all struggle through pain, heartache, disease, death, depression, rejection, the need for validation, and the ever wondering 'Am I good enough?'
Nobody lives the life we see in People Magazine, not even the people who are in People.
Nobody is safe from pain.
Nobody is immune to the feeling of inadequacy.
It's a natural drive for us to go out and prove who we are and that we matter.
So in as far as Social Mediums connect us, it's unbelievable. But to think Facbook, Twitter, or Youtube can replace real human interaction is to deceive ourselves. We are whole people who need the support of a community. We need people to rejoice in our success. We need people to mourn in our loss. We need to have those few people we can be honest with about all the hidden dark shadows that run around in our minds. After all, we're born that way.
In the beginning of time, I believe God created us all to live in culture together. Sure, He knew Facebook would be around, but He created us to dwell with one another. Not just 'click' for friendships, but actually work at serving one another. Maybe a better way to state it is, "Love Your Neighbor!"
Interestingly enough, all the major religions on the planet find commonality in the fact we should learn to Love those around us. And Love, in its purest form, is to serve each other. When we dwell in a community of people, and look out for the best interests of others HIGHER than those of our own; we find TRUE community.
That's why I get so excited about our little slice of heaven in Colorado called KIVU. We're not simply putting on a summer retreat/resort center for teenagers. We're putting together a community of people who learn how to interact at a human level.
No cell phones.
No Social Mediums.
We're interested in Teenagers having the time of their life, and learning that we are more about understanding how to live with one another, than turning to a safe place of connection on the web.
Come check out our progress at www.campkivu.com.
I'm interested in your thoughts.
Do you think Social Media is making us more lonely?
- Kelley Mathews published the article Great Programs + Zero Personal Contact = Swing and a Miss!.
- Matt Perman published the blogpost Millennials: Bringing Back Entrepreneurship in America.
- Kelley Mathews published the article 'Ordinary Miracles: Awakening to the Holy Work of Parenting' [Review].
- Janet Ridgeway published the blogpost High School and Middle School, Oh My! – Back To School 2014.
- Ashley Howland published the blogpost The scoop on salt: You’re probably eating too much.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Why Peer-To-Peer Selling Is Taking Off And What Companies Can Learn From It.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost New Toyota Minivan Will Make It Easier For Drivers To Yell At Their Kids.
- Nils Smith published the blogpost Vemory automagically finds and recreates your best memories.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost What You Should Know About Gen Z And Branded Video.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Consumerism: Ways Brands Can Harness The Wonderful Power Of Teens.
- Dave Dunham published the blogpost Christian Reflections on Lust, Modesty, and Beauty (Part 7): Lust and Responsibility.
- solomon david published the blogpost Magento Fashion Template Development Services From Leading Company India.
- Steve Perky published the blogpost How Will Google’s “Classroom” Change Discipleship? [Video].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Church’s Website – Content to Connection [Snippet].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Our modern idea of generations is overrated [Quote].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples [Book].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost Create Crossword Puzzles to Disciple Children [Video].
- Steve Perky published the blogpost The New .CHURCH Domain Name: Why It Matters To Your Church.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost Jars of Clay celebrates career milestone with ’20′.
- Wayne Stiles published the blogpost Quote by Brad Gray on God’s desires for our failures. [Quote].
- andrea castrillon just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- solomon david published the blogpost How to Choose Best Mobile OS for First Gaming Apps.
- Larry Carter published the blogpost Have You Ever Cut Your Nose Off To Spite Your Face?.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost 17 Practices Of Highly Successful Leaders: Little League head coach Dave Belisle.
- John Peterson published the blogpost You Don’t Have to Be Retired to Rest and Enjoy Life.
- Kelley Mathews published the article 14 Ways for Christian Parents to Teach Kids about Atheism.
- George Bullard published the blogpost Can Missional Congregations Outrun Their Supply Lines?.
- Kelley Mathews published the article When Your House is Dirty and Your Kids are Screaming, Why Care About Ferguson?.
- Jeffrey Totey published the blogpost Video of the Day: What if Michael Bay had Directed "UP.".
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost Watch: Capital Kings new music video and single ‘Fireblazin’.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost ‘…I remember going to church and getting angry’ – E! News Giuliana Rancic.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost Stream Thousand Foot Krutch’s new album ‘OXYGEN:INHALE’ in its entirety.