Social Media...a train wreck in slow motion?


Social Media

My father was here visiting from Adelaide for a few days, and my eldest daughter, who is 14, was sitting in another room on her laptop. She either watches a lot of youtube video's and/or skypes her friends.

My dad is in his 80's and I was trying to encourage her to go and sit at the table and talk to him. So after a great deal of coaxing, she sat down and just looked at me. I had to give her ideas on what to talk about to help her get the conversation going.

As I was observing, and noticed that she wasn't sure how to interact and listen properly until after a little while, when obviously she was interested in something that interests her, she was talking.

Even though social media is really good for a lot of things, there is and I am sure will be a detremental effect on Gen X and the later Gens.

We have a society where anxiety and depression are amongst the highest they have ever been.

The lack of human social interaction now compared to what it used to be like when I was growing up, almost doesn't exsist. The lack of family involvement to socialize together. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean the running around to extracurricular activities, I'm talking about when your aunties and uncles would drop in, and you became excited to see them because you knew that Auntie Nicky had colombines in her handbag.

I'm talking about endless summers, swimming in the pool with a bunch of friends almost every weekend, riding our bikes up and down the street with friends.

I must say that i'm proud of my daughter in the way she uses her phone....so much so that she doesn't even pick it up, or text back. Some of her friends asking her why she doesn't answer or text....'do you have to go and get it from the bottom of the ocean'?

I recall a few years ago, being invited to an afternoon tea with a group of other girls.....my daughter didn't take any form of tablet or phone, and she felt left out, as the whole group were sitting in a circle on their phones and tablets.....texting each other and sharing things! All they had to do was look up and talk face to face.

Amongst that, there's the other social interaction, like when you would go out to see bands play and after the gig you would go with your friends to Maisy's coffee lounge at 6am...before rushing home to get ready to go to our day job.....god knows how we did it, but we did.

No alchohol or drugs were consumed at all, It was the sheer enjoyment of dancing to the band, drooling over one of the members, and driving down a one way streets in reverse to catch a glimpse of the band. Sheer fun. We did some crazy things in which no social media platform can't give to anyone!

Why are people on dating sites?? They are destroying people as a whole. Sometimes the enjoyment of watching someone being silly across the room as they dance to the music can be funny and can very inviting. You see a persons character, which again, can't be seen through a dating site.

I know there's a lot of wishful thinking of bringing the live music scene ALIVE again, but people need to realize themselves, that living in their rooms will one day find them 10 years older and asking themselves, what they did.

This brings me into another topic of live music......do they know what they're missing out on?

Ok, so you can play music at home, but do they know what its like to feel the music pumping, the bass player slapping, the singer sweating?

It's not just the dating sites stopping people from venturing out, its the introduction of more pokies taking over precious space and interaction between people, and the time poor factor and exhaustion from the week at work.

No-one wants to run and answer the phone anymore at home when it rings......unless it's your mobile.

Social Media has it's place, but its up to us to find the balance of life.

It's all very well and fine for the 25 year old to develop the next greatest thing, wheather it be how the new sound chip will work in the next newest device.... but when they are 40......yes 40....and it will come, will they look back and say, OH, I have a family now, but I want go go out and see what it is I missed out on. (wherever that may be??)

The older Gen can only say so much, and try and lead them and tell them what we have learned and what we know, because, believe it or not, we actually do know a few things and are also experiencing this whole new way of life as well. We can see what its doing and what its creating.

Unfortunatley, its also hard to run a business now without social media. No matter how many times I try and call people, I get the girl at the front desk say, 'Just send an email'. Very frustrating. The funny thing is, email is faster obviously than the old snail mail, but if everyone's inbox is so full, and it takes them two weeks to get back to you, how does it make it faster in the end?

Social media gives us this impression that it makes things easier......but does it?

Now that the whole world is on it, you have to find the time to sift through what it is you are looking for, plus you have that pesty problem of not really knowing if something is real or not, the scams. Then you have endless email accounts.....one for your purchases, another for your close friends and family, another for your business, another for serious issues regarding schools and health. Its all time again, and then you try and put aside more time just to unsubscribe from something that keeps popping up in your inbox, in which you initially thought you'd get around to reading one day.

Things have changed so much, its no wonder so many of us suffer anxiety and depression, and personally, I think it's spiralling out of control. Would it be great to keep the personal touch?

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Tracey Arbon Official Website l Australian Singer/Songwriter