Generally, the Internet and all social media that has derived from it has been a good thing. It has allowed for people all over the world to keep in contact with one another on a more accessible platform than ever before. One would assume that all of the options of social media used to keep in contact with people would make life simpler. However, the fact of the matter appears to be that while it does make life easier in many aspects, the biggest effect it seems to have made on people is their laziness when it comes to communicating with friends and family.
Has all this overexposure and accessibility to one another via texting, emailing, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. made us so lazy that people don’t even bother catching up anymore because they’ve caught up over some form of social media? While we aren’t yet at complete hermit level and do sometimes venture outside, majority of those people who do take the time to meet up, dare I say it, in the real world spend most of their time looking at their phones instead of actually enjoying the company of the person next to them.
Last weekend I wasn’t just a witness to this, instead I was the victim. Originally, my friend was to visit me from Melbourne for a few days. It had been two months since we’d last seen each other, where we spent a full four days together. However, things didn’t go according to plan. She’d met this guy, who was also coming down to Sydney to see her: they’d been communicating endlessly via text message since the initial, and only meeting. I was pushed aside, and spent a total of two hours just with her, out of her four-day visit. The visit was followed by a text message along the lines of, “I miss you so much already, at the airport now about to head home”. I was gobsmacked. I didn’t know how to reply, so I didn’t straight away. So she sent another message to which I still couldn’t correlate a reply, so then I received another message. I felt bad for ignoring her text messages, but why didn’t she feel bad for practically ignoring me in real life?
It seems that people get more offended about ignoring their text messages or Snapchats, than someone not making the effort to physically hang out with someone else. This has happened on so many occasions that I’m beginning to wonder if I should just stop attempting to hangout with people and just Snapchat them from my room instead, because that seems to be a more sufficient friendship for them.
I’m not saying that we are better or worse off from this rapid invasion of technology we have experienced, but the next time you open up an app just ask yourself if you’re closing yourself off from the world around you whilst you’re doing it.