Marilyn's Musings

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Does being online affect our ability to relate to others offline??

Lately, I’ve been thinking about things in the past.

The thing is, I’m thinking about how much the times have changed. Once, we had more time to relate to others in real time, real life, 1:1. Now, for many of us, communicating is online, texting, through blogs, twitter feeds, facebook and the like. Now, that’s not a bad thing–I do believe the wonderful technology available has allowed us to connect with others at our own convenience, which isn’t an altogether bad thing. But at the same time, it can be a double-edged sword.

It’s easy at 2am when suffering from a bout of insomnia to go online, post a few replies to facebook feeds or twitter posts. Can’t necessarily ring up or go visit an offline friend during those times for the most part.

But at the same time, I have to wonder if the ease and convenience of being online and maintaining friendships has cut into how we relate to people offline.

I wonder if we are losing our ability to interact and form bonds with people in everyday work and social settings.

I am from an era and of an age to have learned and developed good social skills. But, I look at some of the people who aren’t in school or who have lost touch with old high school and college mates, and have no real foundation in offline life as far as a social life is concerned.

Are we creating a new generation of socially isolated people? I know of people at work who no longer go out to socialize much, preferring to interact online with others.

To me, there has to be a balance. I hope I am not generalizing, but I do believe we (collectively speaking) are going to have to learn to compartmentalize our social lives. Re-learn or learn the art of interacting with others offline and still enjoy doing the things we do online as well.

I am sure it will work itself out. I certainly hope it will!

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2 responses to “Does being online affect our ability to relate to others offline??

  1. venushalley1984 November 9, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I think online communication is legit, as long as it has some essence and you aren’t just going around communities and mass friending.

  2. Marilyn November 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Hello, Venus! I agree with you. I think it is a balance, though. There’s room for all types of friendships, online and offline.

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