How social media helps us stay connected but also drifts us apart
Staying close to those away from you has never been easier. Distance seems to become less of an issue in long distance relationships (boyfriends/girlfriends, friends, family members, etc) nowadays because of all the social media possibilities you have today; you have Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter, and LinkedIn, and all these tools that help you keep in touch with those that are far away from you.
According to a recent Pew Internet Research study, a whopping 71% of online adults use social media to “stay in touch with current friends and reconnect with old ones”. The main use of social media is no longer to get things done, search for jobs, or follow celebrities. The main reason that drives almost 3/4ths of adult social media users is to keep in touch with family and friends. With the click of a mouse and a scroll of a page you can be up to date with a friend’s recent activity and personal information through photos, comments, status updates, and other posts online. This makes keeping up with those away from you easy, convenient, and fast.
But what about those close to you? As you try to keep up with the social media world to keep close to those far away from you, you might lose sight of the importance of keeping up with those who are right next to you. Too often now we ignore those who are physically with us so we can stay in touch with those who are not. Ironically, social media sites keep you closer to those away from you but keep you apart from those close to you.
So, what do you do? Do you follow up with your friends and family members away from you and sacrifice your relationships with those around you physically? Or do you let go of your phone and pay attention to the person sitting next to you? The answer is not easy, but it is important to keep a balance to maintain a healthy social life both online and in person. Although it is very important to stay in touch with friends and family away from us, it is just as important to build and maintain strong relationships with those who are physically present.