Social Media, the Oxymoron?

I’ve been thinking a lot about our/my dependence on technology. The other day, I couldn’t remember a phone number that 8 years ago I would have memorized because I used a landline – AND back then it MEANT something if someone “memorized” your number. It was a sign you were in love with someone, you were best friends or you cared. But besides maybe the 5 most important people in my life, I can’t remember numbers or dates. 

mrforgetful

I think this carries into a lot of different aspects in life. My co-worker noted that she can only remember birthdays because they are on Facebook… pop-ups in Outlook remind me of a meeting in 15 minutes -> 5 minutes -> 1 minute overdue… Engagements and marriages are reflected in status changes… Twitter is a constant feed on what my friends are doing… I’M TOTALLY DEPENDENT.

But, here’s my argument: Is social media really social at all? I thought we called those nerds in parent’s basements playing World of Warcraft “anti-social” because they wouldn’t go play outside with their friends. Well, now I’m playing my own version of WoW called “Twitter” and “Facebook” and “Blogging”. What makes me more social than the guy in mom’s basement? Quite honestly, not a whole lot… He may play in a make-believe world but so do I in a way. I’m not interacting face-to-face and there are health benefits to that! Brad Hunter, Stanford student writes about the benefits in this short article (I liked it since it references a Sociologist – my other major and passion).

nerdalert

Adding another New Year’s resolution to the pile… 10 minutes a day I’m exercising my memory part of my brain through memory tests just to make sure I keep a healthy hippocampus.

hippocampus

**I know that there are social benefits specifically to social media like feeling more connected to those that you wouldn’t normally talk to face-to-face and social media encourages communication and communication paths that aren’t always an option in-person… But… I’m just pointing out something that I’ve noticed and I’m recommending everyone who can’t remember your ex-BF’s/GF’s number that you had ingrained in your brain in high school – may need to exercise their hippocampus as well. Hah.

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March 12, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized.

2 Comments

  1. Stephanie replied:

    Meghan, you hit the nail on the head. Thank you for bringing this point up, I had never really thought about social media in this light, but I completely agree.

    When I sit down to watch a movie or a show, I am never without my laptop, e-mailing away or updating Facebook, Twitter, etc. If not my laptop, then my phone. I justify this to my boyfriend by showing him what all of my other PR friends do whenever they come over to the apartment!

    “See, they are on their laptop and watching a movie,” I cry, “I’m not the only one!”

    My denial has never been so obvious. Thanks for the great post.

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