I watched the movie, “The Social Network” recently and started to think about how big of a role social networking has become in our daily lives. It’s sad, but I can’t think of a day that has gone by that I have not checked my Facebook at least once since I got it. It can be a useful tool to keep in touch with long lost friends or a way to plan social gatherings but let’s be honest here, 90% of people just scroll through their friends’ status updates for about an hour before they realize how long they’ve been sitting there.
I think that social networking sites can contribute to the overall quality of communication between people, but only if we are careful about how we are using it. A relationship should always be based on strong communication and most of the time; this should be done face to face. There are times when this isn’t possible and I do understand that, but nothing can ever take the place of two people sitting down for a cup of coffee together and catching up on each other’s lives. We run into problems when we start focusing more on the quantity of our friends rather than the quality of those relationships.
I do use a few different social networking applications, but I try not to overdo it. For example, I have had a Twitter account for a little over a year now and I think I have tweeted about 20 times. I can’t remember the last time that I posted a status on Facebook and I’ve only earned about 3 badges on Foursquare. Sometimes these different applications can be useful and I tend to use them more when they can benefit me. Sometimes there are contests to enter on Twitter or Facebook, or the chance to get a free appetizer from checking in somewhere on Foursquare – these are the ways that I tend to use social networking. I do not use my different apps to tell people how I am feeling about my day, or about the weather, or to complain about other people, or to post pictures of sunsets.