Social media is such a huge part of our daily lives now that it is hard to remember how we behaved when it didn’t exist. We actually talked to each other on the phone. The first relationship challenge that came along was text messaging, which rapidly replaced phone calls for various reasons.
Although seemingly convenient, text messaging as a way to communicate over anything but the most basic details has become an intimacy block. Words on a screen make it tough to interpret tone and intention, so people can be talking but having two very different conversations in their heads.
Now that social media has taken centre stage, we do a lot of our communicating online. As the leading Marbella marketing and technology agency, we well understand the power of social media and what strong points it has for businesses all around; it can bring people together and connect them in ways that would otherwise never have happened.
But that’s because a customer/client relationship is not usually intended to be intimate or particularly personal. Social media is now an excellent business tool, counter-intuitive as that might sound given the ‘social’ name, and a far less effective way of maintaining close personal relationships.
Social media has tiptoed in and disconnected us
The virtual world has crept slowly into our lives to the point of encroachment upon our physical activities and connections. You would rarely take a photo of your food to go home and show it to your sister, as you know it’s inane and that she wouldn’t care. So why do so many people think that posting a picture of their fancy salad is interesting to hundreds of potential online viewers? Are we really that bored? Is a walk in the park’s fresh air, taking in the colourful flowers really less preferable than sitting on the park bench, staring at your device and posting pictures of what you’re about to eat?
We surely know (if we give it a moment’s thought) how unhealthy this is. If we can’t spend five minutes standing in a queue or sitting on a train without having to get the phone out, that’s an addiction. We don’t want to feel bored, but were we before social media was a thing? Maybe we’d have thought about something important, talked to a friend, read a book, taken in the scenery. Maybe we’d have mastered the art of patience, waiting for the queue to go down.
The most insidious part of social media addiction is not so much choosing to scroll through the minutiae of four hundred strangers instead of chatting to your friend on the train (although that isn’t the greatest display of politeness); the biggest problem is when you’re constantly on your phone at home to the degree that your partner is left to their own devices.
Social media can become highly anti-social
If you are busy snapchatting your friends all night, your partner is likely to feel excluded and turn to some other activity to keep him/herself entertained. If you’re someone that sits across from your partner at a restaurant table scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed rather than thinking of something to chat about with them, you’re starving the relationship. It may seem so normal that disrespect doesn’t come into it, but it is not respectful behaviour.
Conscious partners put each other before the rambling and projections of the old friends and new acquaintances on their online lists.
That’s not all. The longer we spend on the phone in the evening, the more likely we are to disrupt our sleep cycle. The blue light emitted from our devices messes with the melatonin production in our brains, meaning that our bodies don’t know when to switch off for the night. The knock-on effect of this is difficulty getting off to sleep, broken sleep and then of course difficulty getting up in the morning. Tired, grumpy people tend to take less time to consider their partner’s feelings. You can see where this regular habit might lead.
There are health dangers too
What’s more, leaving a smart phone charging anywhere near your physical body is bad for your health; the electromagnetic frequencies emitted through the night are toxic. Wifi isn’t good for your health. There are lots of reasons to pay more attention to your social media habits, but establishing stronger connections and giving those you care about genuine, physical time rather than online chat is one of them. Social media can be very anti-social and result in even the addicted user feeling lonely because of the lack of genuine human contact.
A smart move would be to limit your leisure time on social media to specific times, and use it more for what it does best – making business connections. If your business needs a little assistance in maximizing social media for engagement and conversions talk to Optimasit –we are ‘those in the know’ on IT solutions in Marbella. We’ll be happy to talk to you on the phone or face-to-face, which is surely a great start! Call (+34) 952 770 306 now.