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August 30, 2012

Does Social Media Make Us Scared of Face to Face Interaction?

I’ve developed a fear of talking on the phone, walking into places by myself, and being the first person to send an email or message. Is this normal social anxiety, or is it a cause of technology causing me to be less social? Granted, I’ve always been a little hesitant meeting new people. It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive in unknown situations, but I think that social networking and technology has done exactly the opposite of what it says it is, in theory, supposed to do.
Screenshot of the homescreen of a jailbroken iPhone 4sIt’s part of my job to talk on the phone. In fact, it’s better for me to talk on the phone as opposed to texting or emailing because, in the internet world, anything that can make you more personable is what gets you remembered. I hate doing it, though. I always get that tingly, heart racing feeling every time I dial a number even if it’s just my doctor’s office.

I think it might be because when I am texting and emailing, I can put whatever voice, face, or personality I want to the person on the other side of the conversation. If I need a second to think about a response, I’ve got as long as I want. Nothing requires on the feet thinking or emotions. I don’t have to pretend to smile or look like I’m interested.

Social networking has become sort of an oxymoron to me. Yes, you can connect with your friends and family, but people share so many things about their lives that I no longer want to know them in the real world. Their online personality kind of sucks and that’s the only impression I need. No, I don’t want to come over and see your new born child. I got sick of that spoiled brat after the 200th picture you put up of him. In the end, I feel less social.
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We’ve all gotten so used to not having that face to face interaction that it seems like we’ve forgotten what to do in those kinds of situations. Even My old computer set updating has seemed to change. Rejection is so much easier over the phone or on a website because we don’t have to hide the disappointment or put on a front while we’re in the presence of that person. We can, instead, hide behind our computer screen and choke back those tears while moving on to the next person in the database of faces that inhabit the web.

This is why E-Harmony and POF have gotten so popular. Never again will you have to buy a girl a drink and hope that she accepts so you can get a chance to get to know her. Now, you have your pick of the litter with their background information and a compatibility score. Forget those awkward first dates with the questions. Just read their profile and it’s almost like you know everything about the person. So much for dating, I accomplished that goal in 20 minutes. Let’s just skip to marriage.

Do I think this is going to change? No, probably not. I think people see this as the easy way out and everyone is a fan of the easy way. It’s something that should be brought up, though. Possibly even thought about on a deeper level. Maybe now, somebody will go out and meet people in a social setting instead of on the internet. Maybe they won’t. This is just something that I’ve noticed trending with myself and I know that I want to change.

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What do you think? Do you feel like social media and technology is causing us to become scared of face to face interaction?

About the Author

Blogger, Programmer, Zombie Survivalist Expert, Girl Gamer, Pianist, Super Geek, the Epitome of Awesome. Saying the things your mind tells you not to.


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