This video is doing the rounds, ironically all over social media sites at the moment. I have watched it, and whilst it makes some good, poignant points, I think I'm on the fence with the message it delivers. Heres why;
He makes some fabulous if not uncomfortable points. Yes kids are being so influenced by a virtual world that some are retreating right into themselves and not developing the social skills they will require in life. I particularly worry about the negative impact of the variety of things you can commonly find on the internet, even when you're not looking such as violence and pornography, for example. Some undoubtably spend too much time in front of a computer screen interacting with a virtual world, but that's some, not all.
I know plenty of people who encourage their children to go out and play with their friends, or kids who do actually enjoy real social interaction.
I take his point about "look up" because if we all took more time looking at the world and connecting, rather than disconnecting via electronic devices then maybe we would notice real life things a lot more, and for some, maybe life would improve or get happier. I notice people out for meals or walking along the road and none of them are talking to each other, the art of conversation does seem to be being dumbed down as a result of the technology that we all have sitting in our handbags or pockets.
We carry around little devices that connect us to the rest of the world in a split second. But is that necessarily a bad thing?
Just because you have friends on social media sites, that doesn't have to mean you cherish them less. In fact, there's an argument to say that before the birth of social media or the internet, none of us got in contact with our friends anyway! We didn't know where they were, we kind of left school, college or Uni and that was that, if you were lucky you might bump into them in the street, or see them up the pub, but in general, who really stayed in touch? Now we all stay in touch!
The author of the video insinuates that we try to create false ideas of what our lives are like. But I don't buy into the argument that we are all fake! Yes we do put the good bits of our lives on Facebook, but that's because it's a bit depressing to share all the bad times as well. Some people do share the bad times and I've seen people ridiculed for it or criticised. So maybe the fact people share the positives of their lives is less narcissism and more genuinely wanting to share stuff and connect with friends!
There's a lot to be said for putting down your device and sharing real time with people who are next to you, but social media IS a lifeline for a lot of people, so if you try to have a balance between the two, well in my book you're not doing much wrong.
Have a look at the video and make your own mind up. I'd love to hear your thoughts! You are welcome to leave me some comments.
Author Emma Evans
Emma Evans runs Kent Therapy Clinic and also helps coach other therapists in her spare time when she's not seeing clients at her busy practice. This blog is full of useful articles and interesting facts to do with therapy in general. Please feel free to add your comments to the blog.