As someone in their 30s, I come from a generation where I grew up without a computer and the internet was just taking off.
I was one that thought social media was going to cause people as a whole to drift further apart socially. I mean, when you see the commercials and sites about meeting someone online and “find-your-mate.com” or whatever, it seems that you can do everything from the comfort of your own home now, including finding a spouse.
Times have definitely changed. But as I’ve become more familiar with social media sites, specifically Facebook, I notice that my family and friends can see photos and messages from me in real time. I believe that is the true advantage. The fact that you can share with everyone. Your online photo album beats the old bound photo albums that you would keep in your home for when the relatives come over. I can post my pics or comments and get their reactions.
On Twitter I can follow my favorite celebrity and have their tweets go to my site or cellphone. I can take a video of myself on a trip and send it to my Facebook account and have everyone enjoy. For example, my fiance’s nephew was in a commercial and it went out to everyone she knows.
I’m reminded of a quote by famous graphic designer Deborah Sussman “…the digital revolution in a certain way has isolated people, even through you can reach the world on the internet, you’re still in a room all by yourself, with no other fantasy than what is on your screen. But there’s a sense that gathering places will become even more important because people will need to be with other people again. The need for physical, tactile presence may be increased by those deprived of hands on experience”.
The new “information age” with it’s advances in digital media will never replace human interaction. If used properly, it can only enhance it.