Like in so many cases, there are two main viewpoints on the social networks and their introduction into our everyday lives. There are those who will say that it is the best thing ever, that we do not need our physical bodies anymore and that we should all move to Facebook with our families. There are also those who think that the social networks should be euthanized before they do even more evil and before our young people become brainwashed and unable to converse with each other in real life. Once again, like in so many cases, the reality is somewhere in between and the most important thing to do is to look at it from a realistic standpoint.
First of all, no one can rationally deny that social networks and online communication have not brought many positive effects to our lives. For instance, it now easier than ever to talk to your family that might live hundreds or thousands of miles away and whom you would interact much less. It is now easier than ever to find the time for all the people with whom you would probably lose all contact if not for online conversations and interactions. It is also easier than ever to cross the cultural and geographic boundaries and meet new people with whom you would never even come into contact. And that is without talking about the availability of information and other beneficial parts of an online presence.
Of course, we can also find bad sides to the whole social networking/online communication part of peopleâs lives. For one, people are engaging in less and less actual communication where you hear and see the person in front of you. This is the only way to really converse as there is so much information to be lost when you exchange messages with someone. Furthermore, online communication can do away completely with ridiculous arguments that most of us enjoy. For instance, it is less and less possible to find yourself having a three-hour debate about why the drummer from Def Leppard is missing an arm. Today, one of you will check it on Wikipedia and a possible riot of an argument is destroyed even before it began.
The solution is to let your online life enrich your offline life. Do not use Facebook chat to talk to a friend that lives in the same city. Use Facebook to invite them to a cafÃ© and talk to them there. Do not play Online Monopoly with friends from your street. Invite them over and play real Monopoly. Do not share your photos from your vacation together with your best friend on Instagram, use something like PosterCandy to make them a poster that they can enjoy in their home, hang on their wall and look at without staring at their screen.
Do not go offline. Stay online but remember that the real life is still out there and that limiting your online communication can be just as refreshing as interacting with people online used to be when it was new.