The internet has transformed the way we think about ourselves – the groups we belong to, the information we know. The internet has transformed the way we interact with our friends, too. Now, we are “in touch” with our friends more than ever: I can tell you what Ayesha had for lunch, what Hanan is listening to at the moment, and how Heba is getting on with her holiday in France. Even though I haven’t actually spoken to them: I have glimpsed their Facebook or Twitter feeds, while myself listening to the radio, brushing my teeth, or trying to write this article.
Social networking sites are a new way of interacting: it makes us feel so close to somebody without actually speaking to them from one month to the next. Yet this had had an effect on interpersonal communication and culture, and now with social media, SMS, blackberry messenger we are living in a world where we lack the feel of having real, meaningful relationships. There is a face-to-face conflict; interpersonal relationships are threatened by the overuse of computer mediated communication forms. Don’t you agree?
This is changing us, with the rise of technologies like Facebook and twitter, we all seem so connected today yet we still ask even though we are all connected today is it bringing us together or has it driven us apart? Are we losing our culture?
Some say that the social media have brought strangers together, but it has put distance between family and acquaintances. Take this example: a brother used to get a phone call from his siblings on birthdays, Eid, Ramadan, ect. This call might last for fifteen or twenty minutes where both will catch up on what is happening in each others’ lives and both will at least hear each other’s voice. But with the internet, social media, technology, this year on his birthday the brother got a text messages that read, “Happy Birthday Brother!”
So, while we can meet perfect strangers from all over the world through our social media we have lost personal touch with many of the people who matter most. Also, years ago we used to greet each other in Ramadan, Eid, birthday, ect by a visit, call, hug, handshake, smile, kiss but today with all the involvement of phones, emails, SMS, BBM we greet each other by messages, broadcasts and similes like 🙂 😀 :s :p … We are missing the human touch aren’t we?
Today we have more options and choices. Like any other tool, it’s up to us how we use it and make it work for ourselves. Social media can be a double edged sword. It’s a great tool that allows people to connect and update each other more than ever before. In a way, it brings us closer together by breaking down distance and time barriers but nothing can replace a face-to-face discussion. Being able to see body language and expressions, as well as hear voice inflections, allows communication to flow more freely and deeply between people, creating a connection that probably wouldn’t happen through social media.
So, for a change get up go and greet your mom, dad and siblings and say “Ramadan Kareem” say it don’t SMS it. Go visit or call your friends, go to your grandparents greet them and spend sometime with them. Leave technology aside for few hours and go greet all your beloveds face to face or with a call if it’s not possible. We need the feel of human touch, go and be different this year!