The curry from the Indian restaurant smelled sensational. The dim lighting created a lovely atmosphere that was perfect for fine dining. And there I sat, at the dinner table, catching up with friends, who had their heads buried in their phones. Scrolling through pics on instagram, scanning the latest fb posts on their newsfeed, engaging in the societal norm that is social media, in an attempt to remain connected with their hundreds and hundreds of ‘friends.’ It’s lucky I have a sense of irony.
Whilst they were chatting with friends through their phones, I sat at the table less than impressed that I was a second priority to them. How can something that promotes the idea of being ‘social,’ create such a profound block in societal interactions in reality.
This issue has profoundly impacted the way the public interacts with each other. During an age of technological advancement and social media, the media audience has begun to rely far too heavily on social media as a way of personal fulfillment and satisfaction, one that does not require physical interaction with others, but rather idealised interaction through a smartphone. Yet this has become so ingrained in society today, that to spend a day without a technological device or social media, is considered impossible.
This idea of social exclusion through media is not a new one. Dating back centuries to when individuals were cutting themselves off from others by immersing their intellect and focus into a revolutionary new object called a ‘book.’ Or even to the late 1920s with the invention of the television, when it was considered family time to gather around a small wooden box and watch the latest black and white moving images, and yet the family wouldn’t speak a word. The advancement of technology and social media has taken an interaction platform such as physically speaking to another individual, shoving it onto the technological platform and still calling it social interaction. But I ask you this; where is the social aspect of this?
We are now moving towards a future where the individual will sit alone at a table, remaining content with plugging themselves into their smartphones, their tablets and their laptops and engage in the societal norm that is social media. Yet, there will still be people like me. People who refuse to use their phones during dinner but still feel isolated from her friends who are sitting feet away from her.
Social media promotes anti-social behavior, and when will it end?