Our Relationship with Social Media: It’s Complicated

By Brandon Desiderio
November 27, 2012

There’s no doubt that a huge amount of our social interaction now takes place on-screen. Whether it’s emailing our professors that we’ll be 10 minutes late for class the next day, or following up with a friend from home who’s now 1,000 miles away, we’ve ditched face-to-face communication often for good reason:  to soften the blow of unfavorable news; to collect our thoughts before we say or do something off-the-cuff – or simply for the sheer convenience it affords. At the speed that our social lives are evolving, soon the idea of just grabbing coffee with friends might become obsolete. Maybe we’ll instead hold Google+ hangouts from the comfort of our separate living rooms, choosing from our K-cup coffers whether it’ll be Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts tonight.

But is this satisfying enough for us? Or do we crave something more organic, more heartfelt? A laugh that isn’t reverberated through speakers; a compliment that we acknowledge with a hug, not an emoticon; a personal exchange of ideas with one of our favorite celebrities, not just a retweet.

While we’re so focused on the bright screens that can entertain, inform and comfort us all at once, we often miss out on the little things in life. It’s time we ask ourselves: instead of capturing the first snowfall of the season with an Instagram pic, should we just take in the moment and appreciate it?

As college students, we’ve grown up in a whirlwind of emerging and converging media. And it’s only getting more complicated.

But, in our defense, it’s been a pretty quick ride: both Twitter and Facebook haven’t even been around for a decade yet. Pinterest is two years old; Tumblr is turning six in February. Even MySpace has yet to reach its 10th year.

There’s no reason not to step back from our media consumption and reevaluate what really matters to us. As the holidays approach and we’re blasted with winter deals from Living Social or sponsored Facebook posts about the new outerwear available at Urban Outfitters, it’s the easiest time of year to get caught up in the flashiness of the season.

Instead, we at the Loquitur caution you not to forget to unplug and unwind. Play Monopoly with your family – you know, the board game, not the app. Cut out a real coupon from your mom’s magazine that’s just lying around and go use it – and make small talk with the cashier. Take in the beauty around you – the fresh-baked smells and the laughs of loved ones as they happen.

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Brandon Desiderio

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