Are we still social in the right way? Is it a possibility that we are becoming less social with the excessive use of Social Networking platforms? It appears that ironically social networking means are making us ‘Less Social’?
Not only the social activities, there is an overload of the information as well – by news and information from an ever-increasing number of social media channels. Increasingly, news is coming to us through our friend and interest networks, via Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.. there’s a never ending list.
Have we given it a thought that sometimes our reasoning powers in making sense of things is adversely affected if there is an overload of the information. Think of those times when you are not able to pick a pair of shoe as you got confused with too many options. (Yes, too many options can impact the reasoning and decision making ability in any scenario).
Everyone is always only talking about information and losing the sense of being receptive still. “Are we becoming “Infomaniac”?
According to a GlobalWebIndex study:
- Mobile – with the number of people accessing the internet via a mobile phone increasing by 60.3% to 818.4 million in the last 2 years.
- Older users adoption – On Twitter the 55-64 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic with 79% growth rate since 2012. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook’s and Google+’s networks are the 45 to 54 year age bracket at 46% and 56% respectively.
Facebook continues to grow
- Daily active users have reached 665 million
- Monthly active users have passed 1.1 billion for the first time
- 751 million mobile users access Facebook every month
- Mobile only active users total 189 million
21% of the world’s internet population are using Twitter every month. Yes, Twitter is the fastest growing social network in the world by active users. (A GlobalWebIndex Study says)
So how does that translate into hard numbers?
- 44% growth from June 2012 to March 2013
- 288 million monthly active users
- Over 500 million registered accounts
- Twitter’s fastest growing age demographic is 55 to 64 year olds, registering an increase in active users of 79%
Be it new or old, no generation remembers VCR or DVD now. The paradigm shift from cable networks to the YouTube was even hardly felt.
Some take on YouTube dispersion into our culture and time:
- 1 billion unique monthly visitors
- 6 billion hours of videos are watched every month
Google+ is making a bearing impression on the social media space, and is now the second largest social network.
- 359 million monthly active users according to a GlobalWebIndex study
- Its active users base grew by 33% from June 2012 through to March 2013
Today morning I rambled upon an article highlighting a research report which actually reinforced this thought. To be honest, I was not too pleased with my self-check results as well.
You may like to a quick self-check as well. My heartfelt congratulations to you if you did not fall in any of the following categories.
- 34% check their smartphone after sex,
- 23% go on Twitter more than 10 times a day,
- 51% check social network sites at dinner,
- 62% use their phones while shopping and
- 42% will stop a conversation if their phone beeps.
One person was quoted: “Sometimes I wake up in the night and reach for my phone so I can do a Tweet”.
And another: “I take pictures of my food, my feet….pretty much anything and post it online”.
Some other intriguing statistics that seem to reinforce this sense of “information omnipresence”:
- The average Briton now has 26 Internet accounts for everything from email and bank services to online shopping, social media sites, Skype and Paypal.
- The average worker checks his email inbox 36 times every hour.
- 1 in 3 smartphone owners would rather give up sex than their mobile phone (Pew Research)
- 90% of 18 – 29 year olds say they will sleep wit their phone in or beside their bed (Pew Research)
- 1 in 10 say they are woken at least a few times per week by calls, texts or emails (Pew Research)
It’s easy to share, just the matter of a click which is of course the beauty of social media space and with applications like Flipborad etc. you can even organise all of our social personas under one roof. The easiness shouldn’t prompt the mindless and frictionless sharing all the time. Sometimes it’s better to share the things a few in the old-fashioned way then sharing with the entire world.
Resolving a relationship is not an option now. It has been taken over by the “end” the relationship with this new protocol of “unfriending”. Why to take the trouble when you can just end things with one click? Is it? Possibly this one-button-does-everything mentality as well that we’re now so used to is making us less social and more insensitive to the feelings of others? We have an oxymoron where we are using social media as an anti-social behaviour.
Maybe we should think about what we’re losing – the social skills that help us establish trust and understanding with our fellow society members, and rediscovering those quality conversations.
Psychologists also looking at it in various lights which I am not to touch upon here as that’s not an area of expertise for me. (I am usually reminded that I may be in a need of one. Who? Of course my husband, who else can be so doting)
Well let’s not digress. Can I ask you something?
- Facebook post or a hand-written birthday card from a friend?
- A hand-writing birthday card or a quick call?
- A quick call or a surprise visit / birthday party?
If your best choice from the above is Facebook post then I may recon you to start practicing “disconnecting to reconnect” right away on daily basis (from 10-60 minutes at least) until you get a “Life”.
If you were even vaguely mentioned in this read, make sure to “Disconnect to Reconnect”. At least call your loved ones this festive season rather than sending a whatsapp. Facebook post, tweet or an email.
By no means I am against social media platforms and advancing communication technology rather I am a big fan on of all and a thorough user myself but I am scared of losing the balance. Use these nextworking modes as an addition, and not as a replacement.
Feel free to share your experiences and thoughts.