Our daily social environment has changed so fundamentally in the past twenty years, it is bound to have an impact on us. Work has become easier in many respects, but constant reachability is a definite con. Relationships often start in cyberspace because it is easy to find like-minded individuals, while we hardly dare to talk to a stranger on the streets anymore. The world becomes smaller, everything is within reach, but at the same time we are more isolated than ever. Even the way our brains are wired is changing as studies show.
No doubt there are pros and cons to our new ways of communicating and how to keep the real world and the online world balanced and in perspective is what I’d like to discuss with you today.
How does the online world impact your life?
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the demands of social media?
Do you find yourself wasting time in front of the computer instead of spending it with real people?
What do you think is a good balance between real and virtual experiences?
Is this ever a problem for you?
I love the options and possibilities the internet provides. I love interacting with you via the blog, I love that I can research just about anything that ever comes up on the internet in minutes, I love online shopping options and virtually travelling to and exploring other worlds at the speed of my fibre optic cable.
I also feel that I have to protect myself to a degree. Not falling into a bottomless hole that is the online world is something I am very conscious of.
I have withdrawn from Facebook, Twitter etc. aside from the automated posts of my blog, because I feel the need to keep my life to myself and not know everything about everyone else either. I think it is all too easy to overload on (unnecessary) information and missing important things in the meantime.
The internet is extremely seductive and knowing myself, I know that to keep a good distance is healthy and important for me. Social media itself is not the problem, but how you use it, how seriously you take it, is of the essence. It can be destructive or life-enhancing.
I wouldn’t want to miss its obvious pros of course, but for the sake of the argument, if pressed for a decision – also thinking about my children – I think I would opt to go back to life before instant and incessant communication.
What about you?