Social Media Replacing Human Contact? Nah

I used to think my son only talked to his "girlfriend" (did I mention he'll be 12 in June?) in school.  Then I happened to walk by his computer and saw her on his screen.  They Skype.  About three hours a day.  Then I got it.  It's real.  Kids mostly communicate electronically these days.

But Joe McKendrick at believes there are reasons social media won't completely replace face-to-face interactions.  For one, there's less distraction.  If you're sitting at your computer, you're scanning for emails or googling or watching the news, in addition to talking to someone.  When you're actually with someone, it's harder to do this -- though, Joe, are you living on Mars? Have you never seen a teen texting at the table, while talking to you, or God forbid, driving?

Most of McKendrick's points have to do with the office, and meeting in person to do business rather than connecting online.  I have to admit here, it makes sense.  He claims at in-person meetings, people have a better chance of hearing the "buzz," or what he calls "the inside dirt," hooking up with people who can tell you what's really going on at the office. Also, face-to-face meetings allow people to run into others they might not have expected to, and in some cases, create fortuitous results, like hearing about a job or even starting to be considered for one. This has happened to me.

Probably the most important?  When you're actually with people in a room, instead of on the computer, you can see them -- how they react to what you're saying, how they contribute, how they don't get your humor (ouch).

So, even though social media is here to stay, some think we won't entirely go back to caveman days and communicating over tin cans (sorry, have my history mixed up here a little bit).  And I do agree, social media is a wonderful new way to be in touch with people (I admit it, I prefer it to phone calls).  Just don't expect me to start texting you about what I made for dinner.  Still trying to figure that one out.


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