Why Social Media Is Killing Our Ability To Truly Connect With Each Other

Tim Gouw

Are we really communicating anymore? Are we filling the void of deep and meaningful relationships with mediocre relationships? Are we becoming so reliant on technology and social media that we have begun to fear true and spontaneous communication? Have we drifted too far too quickly?

Social media is constantly in our face, with the ability for us to track everything. We track views, likes, and comments, adding to the time we spend on social media. We are taking in so much information in such a short period of time, leading to a growing focus on how others view us.

Example: Let’s say you post a snapchat, with that filter that makes you look so good to the point where you are unrecognizable, hoping that one person will see it. You check over and over again hoping to see that one special name pop up under views. You see the name and you feel like you’re communicating with this person. You don’t see the name, and you’re crushed. This can be relatable to all social media platforms.

When we use social media platforms to communicate, that communication can go on in that moment, but also long thereafter. Likes, comments, and views are updated by the second and the ease of tracking can become addictive.

A big problem I have observed with this behavior is that we are no longer expressing ourselves for us. Our motivation for expression is sometimes entirely dependent on the need of reaction or attention from someone else. Perhaps it is multiple someone’s, but it still is not about you.

As we spend more time communicating through social networks and smartphone applications, we start to rely solely on this method for communication. We don’t have to communicate in person anymore. We don’t have to communicate in person at all if we don’t want to and I’ve observed this as it has started to translate into dating.

Dating has become an atomic shit storm in most recent years. Things aren’t how they used to be, which can be good and bad. In the past, we may have settled more. Things were much simpler. We didn’t always have many options, if any, and people got married at a much younger age.

Fast forward to 2017 and we have more options than our brains can process. We can swipe hundreds of photos and short bios in a matter of minutes. We can make multiple selections and talk with multiple people at once.

We have a surplus of options at our fingertips. If there is something minor that turns us off and we stumble upon a seemingly better pick, we go for it. With so many options our attention span has diminished and the hook-up generation was born. You don’t have to be in a relationship to have sex. You don’t need to have an emotional connection with someone to be intimate.

We can be casually hooking up frequently without the exclusivity. If you want someone else, or an additional someone else, you can find that with the click of a button, and making that a habit can build upon deeper issues from relationship to relationship without cognizance.

As a result, we are losing the ability to naturally communicate with the people around us. Our relationships are coming and going at a growing pace.

So, I challenge you to disconnect in a world that’s so connected. This may be the way society has shaped itself today but you are in full control of your actions. Go out with your friends and be fully present. Put the phone away. Go up to someone and start a conversation. Nourish your mind with organic human contact.

Be fully present in a world that makes it easy not to be. Be you, for you.

You may just get the results you’ve been longing for. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Order my book “Put The Damn Phone Down” available now on Amazon.

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