Social Networking & Technology: Bringing Us Together Or Pushing Us Apart?

Sometimes I love you, sometimes I need a break.  Here comes the rave about social networking and technology:  

  • Well, if you are my friend, I get to see your inviting profile picture on my phone when I call,  text, or email you or when you call, email, or text me. I wonder when the last time we talked was…
  • I get to see pictures of you; added bonus if I am in them which remind us of all of our wonderful moments in time. 🙂 
  • I get to see what you are up to if you bother to put statuses on there, but let’s be honest most of us don’t.  Perhaps, there is an occasional check-in but nothing too exciting and a drunken post, here of there. But, for the most part, not much going on.
  • If you do have a status, I get to see it on my phone, once again if we text, write, or email each other.
  • I have to admit that I love being able to upload a photo right from where I am and poof, you get to see it!
  • I love being able to shoot you an email or text whenever I feel like it with the assistance of a couple of thumbs! It’s even more enjoyable when the people write me back! 🙂
  • If you can’t figure out someone’s email address, you can always write them at their Facebook email and they will get back to you, eventually. Once they figure out, they actually have a message, that is.  Today I got to educate a colleague that she had email on Facebook…
  • The group pages are great.  They allow interaction with a common bond. My class page and camp from childhood have some good things going on there which, as of late, is the only reason I have been going to Facebook.
  • Oh, and my brother offered me $100 a month to administer his account awhile back and I foolishly did not take him up on it.  But, now I don’t think I could. It’s too complicated.  Ironically, many of “his friends” are friends with me to keep in touch with him. Rarely, does my brother hear, “Oh, you are Lauren RantnRave’s older brother? Lucky you!” 
  • It’s an easy way for me to promote wonderful things that happen to people in my life (yes, my brother and dad who are always doing well) and even people who aren’t a Rein will get props a time or two. I can’t help it, I love promoting when good things happen!
  • Just the same, if something not so good happens, people will rally around you quickly with this website.
  • My high school reunion rocked the house and earned “monster” thanks because of Facebook enabling me to promote it as often and hard as I did.
  • It’s my number one marketing tool for my blog, other than the signature on my email. My mom is still trying to figure out what this blog is. I have a relative who is still trying to click the link, let alone, read it. I guess that is a good thing.  “Let me get this straight. You free-write about something and just publish it?”  
  • I have found many long-lost people in my life but have had close to zero interaction in the four years since I have been on. I try to rattle the cage to get some communication going but you know how it goes.  So, whether these people have really been found is questionable.  If everyone really used the application, it would obviously be much more gratifying.
The Facebook and Technology Rant:
  • I don’t even think it’s Facebook’s fault but if people aren’t using it “correctly”, the gratification isn’t there. Understand, “correctly” is subjective.  Given the new format, people are scared to post anything, I have to admit, I may be one of them.  I’m feeling inhibited in what I should comment on and when.  
  • Maybe it’s because my reunion is over, but it kind of makes me sad to go on there now.
  • I guess the root of the frustration is how to really stay in touch with people now? How do you get someone on the phone?  Yes, there is I-Chat and Skype for people who aren’t nearby, but how do you schedule that needed time to get it in?
  1. Do you text them asking them to read their email because talking is out of the question?
  2. Then, do you call them because your thumbs hurt from texting them; and then, of course you get their voice mail?
  3. When you get the voice mail, you ask to schedule an appointment to text you with a time so that you can talk?  At this point, I would even take a spirited IM session.
  • I actually had a rep from work write on my wall that he had cleared a query.  Really?  You made my evening! Let me get right on that.
  • I’ve had dinner arrangement made on my wall. I just don’t see that happening anymore.  Not that I won’t have dinner with my friends but I am just not compelled to play on there anymore like I used to.
Maybe I will get a second wind but right now I miss that rush you get from two-way communication when you write to someone and know they are writing to only you. I crave hearing the voice that accompanies a phone call when two people are speaking…to each other and not checking Facebook or emailing other people.   SO DEMANDING!
 In fact, my cousin called me the other night, by accident. I picked up the phone thinking something had happened to my uncle. He was talking to me for a bit trying to figure out who he called. Finally, he looked at his phone and realized he had called his cousin, “Swiss Lorraine”. We talked for about ten minutes and he said that was the best mistake he had made in a long time. HE NEVER CALLS PEOPLE. Just like his brother never wrote people but when he was in the Army, years ago, I declared that I would got his incommunicado brother to write me a letter. He wrote ME a long hand-written letter and wrote on the envelope, “You tell those naysayers they were wrong!
Perhaps the over stimulation of social networking and technology has taken away our ability to communicate with each other with depth and quality.  Communication success requires an effort from both people. But I know I am worth it and I’m pretty sure you are, too.
So, you tell me. Are we being brought together or pushed apart?

 
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Posted on October 3, 2011, in Rant, Rave and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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