Friday, February 20, 2009

Social Media can disconnect people.

I blogged about a 9 year old app whiz kid in Malaysia.  Here is an article that shows the other (or negative) side of immersing children into technology.  

I never thought that exposing children to technology could have a negative effect, but I have to say that after reading this article-I agree.  The main point of the article is that children embracing technology are doing so at the expense of learning social skills.

The article explains that teens are opting to avoid the awkwardness that is puberty.  It's easy to hide behind an icon on facebook, or to connect over technology instead of say...regular old fashioned conversation.  Unfortunately, those awkward experiences are what teenagers have gone through for the history of mankind.  These experiences shape who are are as adults, and have contributed to our culture.  Without these awkward experiences, we never would have had "Catcher in the Rye" or "Great Expectations" or my personal favorite "Time to Change" from the Brady Bunch.

In my experience of dealing with social media experts, gurus and mavens, these people generally have an abundance of friends online, but in person are lonely and can barely hold a conversation.  They have a serious lack of social skills, probably because the only human interaction they have is online.  I have seen social media colleagues get asked by clients to be removed from accounts or have creatives refuse to work with them, because of their inability to connect on a personal level.

Social media, when used in conjunction with traditional human social activity can be great, but it by no means should be used as a substitute.  

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