Social Media ninja Gary Vaynerchuck says no…
Well of course he would. Social Media is the blood of his business and his personal brand. But I think he honestly believes it, and I agree with him.
Let’s first define Anti-Social – google brings up two definitions…
- contrary to the laws and customs of society, in a way that causes annoyance and disapproval in others.
- not sociable or wanting the company of others
It’s not hard to know that many people from older generations certainly follow the first definition when complaining about Social Media.
“Look at them on their phones. Whatever happened to talking to one another?”
Well, I hope the photo for this blog points out the slight hypocrisy of this….
That’s not to say I completely disagree with this opinion. If people are choosing to play games on their phone, rather than talk to other people, then they’re being anti-social by the second definition.
However, when it comes to Social Media, you aren’t acting alone. The whole purpose of Social Media is to interact with others. See what others are up to, let people know what you’ve done and talk with other people. Surely that’s the definition of being sociable?
In my opinion, the whole debate surrounding Social Media revolves around the first definition of anti-social… “customs of society”. Younger people who have grown up with Social Media don’t see it as much of an issue. The older generation who are becoming accustomed to it are more likely to despise its constant use. It can also be noted that those who use Social Media more, will be more likely to side with it due to them discovering more capabilities and opportunities of Social Media. I’ve met and become friends with a number of people through Social Media. These are people I now know in person, but the initial contact came from Social Media. To me, that’s being sociable. However, if your friends or followers are only a small group of people you see in person anyway, then you won’t necessarily see any added benefits.
So what’s the answer to this question? Should we use Social Media less? I think not. However, when we use it might need to change. If someone is sitting next to you wanting a conversation, don’t get your phone out. However, if you’re on a bus or train, you’re not expected to talk to a stranger, feel free to be on your phone talking to someone else.