Are You Really Getting Social With Social Networking

are-you-really-getting-social-with-social-networkingBefore we jump onto a judgmental “yes” or “no” to this question, let’s try to define what “being social” is.  When you hang out with friends, spend quality time with kith and kin, go out partying, attend social gatherings, festive celebrations, share your feelings, – is that when your life can be tagged “social” or is it when you are confined within the four walls, your eyes stuck on the screen of your laptop, your fingers doing the talking and you are “tweeting, liking, sharing” whatever be the online ways, the means to brag about your “social” presence.


For so called “netizens” the latter approach of social networking holds more prominence, more interest, more entertainment, more freedom, more flexibility and more power. But is this notion among many of us that online social networking is really bonding us with the society reflective of reality. I guess no.


Virtual world is after all “virtual” and, thoughts expressed there are often not instinctive and true rather they are molded to suit one’s own online social circle. In the absence of true expression of thoughts, it would be befooling your own self to think of really linking to anyone let alone the society. This is not really being social but succumbing to social obligations.


Earlier we used to have a thought and that’s why we needed a platform to express it. Now the scenario is other way round. Now, because we have so many online social networking platforms, we think we must have a thought to express. This is what makes all the difference in being social and showing yourself “social”.


Being social involves overcoming communication barriers that exist between you and society. But when we resort to online social networking, we are actually giving birth to a new barrier which can be termed as “illusionary proximity”. We assume ourselves to be close and connected to others and this very feeling gratifies our needs. Our desires to be with our family, friends, relatives, etc. gradually shrink and we no longer push too hard to be really with them. This lack of in-person meetings and interactions somewhere weaken our social ties. Then, to what extent social networking makes us social still a remains a question

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