Yesterday, I was watching The View. I love to watch the view, but only on the days there are hot topics. I never watch when they aren’t discussing things that just really tick me off-I think I’m secretly addicted to just getting blood boiling pissed off at all the different opinions. I love to hate those women. Anywho…
While I was watching the show, Aaron Sorkin, the writer of the movie, The Social Network, (and A Few Good Men & the tv show The West Wing) was on the show promoting it. He was asked by one of the women if facebook has helped create relationships or just made them worse. He said “It [facebook] was a device that was meant to bring us closer together. I disagree with that […] I think it’s pushing us further apart. I think that socializing on the internet is to socializing as to what reality tv is to reality.”
So I pose the question: Is Online Socializing REAL socializing?
I think that if your only friends are online, then yes, his statement is true. If your whole world is so obsessviely revolved around your online social media, then you need to at least take your computer to your local Starbucks & use the wifi there just to interact with some “In Real Life people.”
But, I disagree with his statement. Do I keep in touch with all 900 plus facebook friends that I have? No. Obviously, I don’t have 900 best friends. But facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with people I would have never talked to ever again. It has opened doors to girls I thought were too mean to even be counted as human beings let alone friends in high school but have grown into wonderful women who I actually enjoy keeping in touch with.
Facebook allows me to see small insights into people I wouldn’t normally get to see. For example, favorite music, books, quotes, small status updates, etc. It has also let me determine if a person is really who they say they are. Trust me, if you look close enough, a person is revealed through the things they write on facebook. I know people who have been expelled from universities, fired from CAREERS, dumped/divorced because they were caught cheating, etc all from facebook. You have to walk a thin line with it (twitter & blogging too.)
I like facebook. It doesn’t dominate my life. It isn’t the only place I keep up with friends. But I do keep in touch with aunts, uncles, godmothers, grandmothers, friends, cousins, sisters, & brothers. If you are careful with it, like all things in life, then it can be a great positive.
Don’t get me started on how much of a positive influence I think blogging can have in a person’s life. Before I started blogging, I was a frustrated new mom, with no hobby because it was too hard to get out of the house to do the things I did before I had a kid, I was overwhelmed with responsibility, overwhelmed with the fact that I felt completely ALONE in motherhood. Blogging has opened doors for me that I don’t ever want to close again.
So, Mr. Aaron Sorkin. I’m sorry, I disagree with you. Maybe if I was famous Hollywood writer making millions of dollars, jetting all over the world, meeting famous people (Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Justin Timberlake, Martin Sheen just to name a few), having people blog about ME, then I wouldn’t need a blog or facebook or twitter. But I think for the general populous, social media isn’t such a bad thing.
What do you think?
Social media is a good thing…an amazing thing! It bonds people together that need company and support, and helps you to understand things you are experiencing. I've made some amazing friends through social media, and I think the people that disagree that you can make friends through social media haven't tried it.
Kate Collings says
Fabulous post Kate, I love this topic and have discussions about it regulaly.
I think social networking is an amazing tool and has put me in contact with people I would never have spoken to again and even rendered a few mistakes from the past! Great right?
But then there is the anti social side of it all. It takes time away from my son and my partner. Especially when it comes to reading peoples emails and blogs etc.
So I think it can be double edged sword so to speak that on one hand its fabulous but on the other it can destroy relationships, espeically with the some of the status updates people post on such sites as Twitter and Facebook.
I could go on but I wont take up all your space. thanks for sharing hun. Take care KC xx
http://www.katecollings.blogspot.com – always welcoming new followers, guests and comments xx
MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) says
I moved away from "home" when I graduated high school. My family doesn't live there anymore, so even when I go "home" for a visit, it's not to my hometown.
I love that I've been able to reconnect on Facebook with so many folks from my hometown. It makes me remember that little part of "me"…where I came from, and "who" I was back then. I love when a high school friend will come up with a random reference to something we said or did back in the day…something I might not ever have remembered myself.
I think if used respectfully, social media is an awesome thing. It will be really interesting to see how it evolves over the next few years. What will it look like when our kiddos are our age???
Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds says
I can't get into it. I think it depends on how you tend to socialize. I keep to myself and therefore don't get much out of facebook. I can see how it would be wonderful for the social lites among us.
Also I can see what he's saying about it not being "real". People say stuff online that they would never say face to face. It's a different kind of act.
I love Facebook, but I think it all depends on the person who uses it.
I know people who have their Blackberries in-hand all the time, constantly messaging on Facebook even when they're sitting next to a real life friend.
Personally, I do a lot of blogging and Facebook, but only when I have spare time at work (which is A LOT). But at home I don't even have internet access! Once I leave work, I'm not on the computer at all. My cell phone is cheap and only receives calls and text messages. I only use the cell phone to plan get-togethers, not to have actual conversations.
So for me, Facebook is a fun way to keep up with family, friends, etc, not a replacement for actual relationships. Since I moved to a different country, it's really helped me to keep in touch with people I might never have talked to again, and I've made new Cancun friends through it!
I think Oprah said you should never put something in an e-mail that you'd be embarrassed to show on the front page of the newspaper… same should go for Facebook!
i totally agree! both with your (funny) comment about needing to at least read your email at starbucks AND that FB allows you to connect with people you otherwise wouldn't.
Shelby Bukhenik says
I think fb is a great socializing tool. For me, but a lot for people like my mom who reconnected with high school friends and friends she made when we lived in California!
Also for my sorority, we can post events.
I think it isn't so good for high schoolers and below though, they don't speak to each other anymore and its a tool to be horribly mean to one another!
Social netwoking is WONDERFUL. If it were not for facebook, I would not be reconnected with a dear friend who lived next door to us 30 years ago. I would not have reconnected with a life-long friend who moved away when I was about 12, then with whom I exchanged ugly words 15 years ago and hadn't spoken to since.
If I didn't blog, I would have virtually no support for my chronic illness(myasthenia gravis), I wouldn't be able to educate people about it, because I am 80% house-bound.
I wouldn't have a new friend in Belize whom I treasure dearly. I wouldn't have met several other women with MG with whom I can share (and I also love dearly!)
So for me, it's terrific. And it's very, very real.
Jersey Diva Mom says
I think it creates more connections, a larger circle but may not deepen relationships. That said, I think it's emerging technology which always gets slammed for intruding on humanity. I'm sure ppl were afraid the phone would kill interaction when it came along.
I agree with you that facebook has allowed me to reconnect with some friends that I might not of had the opportunity again to reconnect with had it not been for facebook. I love facebook for that reason.