Is Social Media Replacing Social Manners?

December 17, 2010 in Berytech News, General, Social Media by Tania Saba Mazraani

I had recently helped an old and dear friend of mine with a long and tedious project she had been working on. When the project was over, she was keen on thanking me and demonstrated her appreciation with profusion of text messages and emails. She even posted something on Facebook. Which was all very nice; except all I needed for her was to pick up the phone and call me. The old classical way.

This got me wondering, is social media replacing the traditional way of social business? Are BBM and MSN a good replacement for a coffee with a friend, or just an extension of it?! Can sharing jokes, youtube links or mp3 songs over the web beat a meaningful conversation? Should the extent of our exchange be limited to bursts of 140 characters? Are we actually living a good chunk of our lives from behind our computer screens and Smartphones?

I am personally a heavy user of social media and all things Apple. I keep track of childhood friends on Facebook and can be safely considered an avid Twitter user. My Whatsapp account boasts a long list of “favorites”, but nothing beats picking up the phone to exchange meaningless banter with a friend, calling them on their birthday instead of posting on their walls, or stealing time from my busy schedule for a get together at Lina’s.

In short, I am for technology, but not when it sucks us into a virtual world, to a point where we no longer know how to conduct a plain old interpersonal relationship!