There have been a lot of recent articles on the disconnect people face if they are using social media like Facebook. Most of it surrounds around the assumption that cyber connections diminishes authentic human connection.
I am sure there are legitimate cases where people live their whole lives in social media to avoid human contact. I suspect that these same people would do the same and live in isolation , if no social media existed. You can totally be alone and disconnected in a crowd. I also believe that these people are small in number.
I believe the benefits of social media far exceed any of issues that have been discussed. In the case of Facebook, it has enhanced my connections with people.
It Bridges Distance and Time
- I have never been more connected with family and friends from all over the world . Often our communications and updates are at real time or near real time. Besides my immediate family, I have become more connected to extended family like cousins, uncles and aunts then ever before. I remain current with their happenings through their posts and photos, and have gotten closer to them.
- It has been great to communicate and stay connected to a wide range of friends all over the world. It makes the world smaller. I find that we have more shared humanity despite national boundaries and political differences.
It Has Been An Agent Of Change
- Social Media and especially Facebook have been vehicles for significant change all over the globe. It has provided grassroots the power to effect change, influence consumer trends, and even political change.
- The Marriage Equality and LGBT Civil rights movement has been a great example of how social media can cause a revolution to happen over a short period of time.
- Facebook and Twitter have certainly been power players to gauge how people feel about things. So many TV competition shows rely on the feedback from these two media sources to determine a show’s success and even who wins things like singing competitions.
It Allows Influencers Close AccessTo The Public
- Movie Stars, CEO’s , Sports Figures, Religious Leaders, Government Leaders and other influencers have the ability to communicate directly to their fans, followers and constituents in one simple tweet or post. A lot of them interact in a way that is unfiltered and not controlled by their publicist.
- The public can provide direct immediate feedback to those in power or in positions of authority.
- It allows ( for good or bad) free speech and opinion on a level playing field.
It Builds Friendships And Connections
- Scaling to the user’s own social circle preferences , it allows for connections with a larger group of people. In Twitter, there can be millions of connections. Of course, existing friendships are enhanced , new friendships are formed and a greater number of acquaintances sharing similar interests are possible.
- The argument about true friendships not being develop because of time spent on Social Media is a silly one as there are different levels of friends and it really is mutual work on developing authentic ones. It is similar to High School, you are in different classes, grades, schedules, but you go to the same school. You will have your inner circle and those you know outside that circle that you share in some commonality or interest.
- Barriers are broken down, and with immediate interaction, exchange of ideas, thoughts from the mundane to the thought provoking is shared as never before.
It Brings The Human Out In Us
- I hear people complaining about those who post everything on their wall or in their tweets. Again, it can be checking into a place, to a food you like, or even just what you are seeing. But in truth we are seeing humans express more than ever their lives in hourly or daily updates. It shows again how we are all so similar in so many ways.
I am so glad we are in the age of Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn , Instagram. The more we communicate and interact as humans, the more we may be able to understand, care and become more united on this planet.