A lot of people make a lot of noise about social media making us antisocial... I don't think that's true. If anything, I believe the opposite is true: social media is giving us a huge platform for making more connections and organizing more in-person meetings than ever before, and we're largely using it in awesome, social ways.
It seems like in recent years that the "cool" thing to do is blame smartphones and social media for people socializing less, engaging with people less, and spending less quality time with family and friends.
I think if social media is making you less social... you're using it wrong.
In my opinion, the foundation of human communication is still physical: face time, hand shaking, hugging, shared meals/drinks, etc. Social media is just a medium that supplements and mediates what ultimately become in-person interactions.
I could be wrong, but I would bet that this will not change in my or my children's lifetimes. I would even venture to guess that human interaction will always fundamentally be physical, but I wouldn't put as much money on that.
"But people use their phones when they should be living in the moment..."
I have been (and sometimes continue to be) personally guilty of paying too much attention to my phone when I'm spending time with people.
I do it for one reason: whatever I am looking at/doing in my phone is more important to me to than paying attention to the people that are around me at that time.
I'm an asshole.
I think that one of three things is happening when people look at their smartphones while they "should" be enjoying time with their friends/the people around them:
- whatever they're doing in their phone is more important to them,
- they don't want to be there, or
- they're shy.
If whatever they're doing in their phone is more important to them, then sorry: that's just the case. That doesn't mean the people around them aren't important, just less important at that time... or there is something urgent that needs a little attention right then and there. If the phone viewing is going to be excessive, then yeah: it's probably better to that they excuse themselves and go do what you needs to be done.
If the person doesn't want to be there, then a lack of the existence of phones and social media would not change anything.
If they're shy, then it's a question of getting them to break out of their shell, that's something that needs to be worked on on a personal level, but also e.g. the more socially-aware-and-savvy members of the group might be able to recognize this and help them do so.
It's not a problem.
Social media is not a problem. People have problems sometimes. We can be rude, we can take the people around us for granted... intentionally or not. I vote we take responsibility for our bad habits, not shame others for using incredibly powerful technology that is changing the world largely for the better.
Have an awesome day, whoever you are! 😎 Remember to keep it real and eat lots of leafy greens. I hear they're pretty good for you.