My friends and I play a game when we go out to bars, restaurants, or even if we’re just sitting in the same room together. Maybe you’ve heard of it, or seen it on Pinterest or something. We don’t really have a name for it, but I’m going to call it ‘Basket Master’ for the sake of this post. Basically, one person takes everyone’s cell phones and puts them in a basket, and the first person to touch their phone (with certain exceptions) has to buy a round or some other kind of punishment. The purpose of this is to get us to interact with each other instead of our phones.
This got me thinking, which is sometimes dangerous. We live in this connectivity-age where everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and most of us are probably using them on mobile, too. We’re constantly on these ‘social’ networks, having chats, catching up on gossip, liking cat pictures, and being, well … social. At the same time, we laugh and criticize ourselves for being so attached to our phones that we’re reluctant to put them away for an hour while in the company of the people we’d probably be checking up on anyway.
So here’s where my thought process got caught in an infinite loop. Are we (‘we’ meaning everyone on these networks) anti-social because we are sit and home on Facebook instead of actually going out a lot, or are we hyper-social? I’m leaning towards hyper-social, and here’s why.
We go out and party, play sports, eat fancy food, see movies, and go to classes. These are the things that drive the Facebook and the Twitter. If we didn’t do these things, we’d have nothing to talk about. When we’re done with those activities, we go back to our phones and laptops, and we tell everyone about it! After we’re done being social, we go have some more social with some social on the side.
We’re social creatures, and we crave that interaction. We’ve spent decades developing these new mediums to connect to each other with. It’s one of those characteristics that sets us apart from reptiles, mosquitoes, and amoebas. It is what we do, and we’re making ourselves more accustomed to being connected all the time, so we fill those very small voids.
So, next time you’re hanging out with your friends and you take a 2 minute Twitter break, don’t laugh at yourself. Don’t feel guilty for ignoring your friends. Tell the world how much fun you’re having, or check that game score. Just remember to put it away at some point, and go get the next round. 😉