There are so many ways technology can be used to connect us with family, friends, and other communities — in one sense we have never been more interconnected. These forums can be a great way to keep up with others whom we may not otherwise, but are we also using these platforms to replace face-to-face interactions? It is interesting to consider how the quality of relationships is impacted given that the majority of communication is nonverbal… what happens to the quality of communication when we take the nonverbal component out of the equation? Of course there is a continuum of technology use and pros and cons of each level.
The important question to ask yourself is how your personal use of social media and technology is impacting you. Do you feel support when others reply to a message or do you miss the sounds of people’s voices cheering you on? Does receiving a text for your birthday make you feel as good as a phone call and chance to catch up? Email vs card? “LOL” vs hearing someone laugh? The list goes on.
Take a minute to evaluate the quality of your social relationships, including your support from others and your level of engagement with others. If you are not happy with them, can changing your social media use help?