Social Media vs. Social Interaction
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Posted by: Caféstudy
11th Jan 2021 03:23pm
In 2018, research revealed social media is most effective in tackling loneliness when it is used to enhance existing relationships, or forge new meaningful connections. On the other hand, it is counterproductive if used as a substitute for real-life social interaction.
We posed the question to our Caféstudy community; in what ways do you think social media is good at keeping you connected? And when does it become detrimental to your real-life interactions and in turn likely to make you feel more isolated?
Members argued there is simply no true substitute for in-person interactions. With some going a step further to say that social media can make you believe you have more meaningful relationships than in reality.
"Nothing is better than a catch up with friends over lunch or a cup of tea.”
"It is a good way of organising events but is detrimental because it makes you think you have more good friends than you actually have! This increases your isolation when you realise that these friends are in name only and are not true "physical" friends!”
The majority of members agreed the main benefit of social media is to keep connected and enhance our existing relationships with family and friends.
"Social media is a great way to communicate with people around the world, get their opinions and views on different topics. It helps to maintain your personal relationships, even with people who are far away from you.”
"Social media is good to keep me connected to my family and friends all over the world. I get to see what they are up to and the other way around without missing important events like birthdays, christenings, weddings. Without social media I would not see it and would feel like I miss out.”
A pandemic lifeline
The coronavirus pandemic has had a marked effect on member’s responses with most pointing out how social media has played an essential role in helping them maintain the connection with friends and families during the pandemic.
"Social media is good in a way, it can help us keep connected with our family and friends, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since I am an immigrant myself, it has been playing a great role in my life so I can keep in touch with my friends in my home country.”
"Social media has its place when used properly. It has helped us keep in contact with family and friends during covid restrictions and therefore kept us sane.”
Everything in moderation
Overall everyone agreed it was all about moderation, social media is a great tool to enhance our lives but when used as a substitute for real life interaction, that’s when isolation or disappointment occurs.
"I much prefer personal interaction and know it keeps me mentally more healthy. Social media can be isolating for many people - it is for me. I do however, have family and friends overseas and interstate and it has proved to be handy to use during Covid-19 when travel and personal interaction became less possible. Each way has benefits like contact in times of isolation - and downsides like bullying, stalking and living in a fantasy world of 'unreal friends' you don't truly know, just imagine you do.
social media is a good way to keep in touch with distant friends, but it also takes away the personal touch of reality. it can never replace real people and face to face contact.
I understand that face to face interaction is very important, but for the past 18 months Social Media has been very important to me due to the amount of time i have spent at home as i have barely gone out and have not caught up with friends for a number of years now.
Social Media allows me to catch up with my friends when i and they have the free time, sometimes we chat "live" other times we just leave other messages and reply when we have time.
I don't think it is wise to say that any person should stay in touch with people one way or another without first knowing their circumstances.
As important as social media has become in recent years it most definitely should be used in moderation. In-person interactions are just as important as the ones you have online, if not more. But a lot of people forget that in-person interactions should also be done in moderation as physically socialising tires you out faster both mentally and physically. As long as you keep a healthy balance between the two for your own personal needs (which can be hard during these times), I don't see why we can't use both.
I totally agree with social media in moderation is the way to go. It's great to reach out to friends and family, but it's no substitute for physical interaction. A downfall with social media that I've noticed with others is that people start comparing their own lives to the ones that they see on social media. We need to remember that the posts are images of the good in people's lives - what goes on behind closed doors is never shown. No one really posts the crap in their lives.
Well put Adonna 1974, I agree with you entirely
social media is good if one can use it wisely. there is always two sides of a coin, it's up to you which side you wish to stick to.