Technology today runs our lives. From our e-mail to Facebooks, Twitters, LinkdIns and everything in between. It’s hard now to imagine a time before being plugged in was essential. It can be difficult to remember that not too long ago, people sent each other real paper mail and called each other when they needed to talk. As society switches to a more technology based way of living more and more people have questioned the way in which people choose to connect. Contentedness and the desire to interact with others is human nature, and previous to the age of computers and social networking sites, getting “close” to somebody was done via face-to-face interactions, or at the very least, a phone call. But now, with the popularity of social networking sites, such as Facebook, has the way in which we connect changed, or just the medium through which we do so? Furthermore, if social networking online does affect our actual social habits, is this effect adverse?
The answer to the above questions, many studies have found, is no. Recently, a group of American college students were asked whether they use social networking sites more for social searching or for social browsing (looking up the doings of somebody online that you already know offline versus trying to search for people online to actually meet offline) and the vast majority of people asked said they used sites such as Facebook for social searching. In addition to this study, another one found that 41% of people surveyed used social sites to “keep in touch” as opposed to meet others. Don’t believe me? Check it out here!
This shows that the way in which we socialize has not changed, people are merely utilizing the new resources which are available. Furthermore, people are using the sites to communicate with people they already know, not to meet new people, meaning that people have not lost their innate ability to go out and socialize in person. If we had, how would we meet new people with whom we choose to be friends with on Facebook?
Till next time!