I have been reading much lately about how social media is actually making us more ‘antisocial’. The reasoning here is telephone call usage is declining in all age groups except the over 55′s and some anecdotes about calling people after having connected with them in the social web and being totally shocked that someone would call them.
Kind of misses the point. Social Media is all about platforms that support the ability to have a conversation over the web. What form that conversation takes – chat, email, sms, VoiP calls, and so on is really besides the point. But it might also explain why voice calls are down – people have taken those conversations to different media than a traditional call. Perhaps our so called Communications providers should look at this when considering their product development.
But to return to the theme. Social Media allows us to have one to one or one to many ‘conversations’ with people far beyond our normal reach. It allows us to extend those conversations into communities that we could never otherwise find. And it takes us places that sometimes we could never have imagined – its sooooo easy to get distracted in the social web. Thats not my idea of being anti social.
If you equate being ‘social’ with having face to face meetings or real time telephone calls then yes, social media may be making us antisocial. But if you equate being social with having lots of interesting interactions, constantly exploring new boundaries; extending beyond your normal physical boundaries in terms of place and time then I hardly think the argument has merit.