What is this obsession with social media? Why do so many people feel the need to tell the World every time they use the bathroom, like a 3 year old child?

The main reason that so many people “need” a smart phone appears to be the need to update their Facebook statuses.

Are You Plagued by Facebook Status Updates?

Don't you have anything better to do with your life than to whip out your phone at every opportunity just to tell your contacts where you are and what you are doing?

So many people take out their phones every time they are in a free wi-fi hotspot and tell the world where they are instead of just enjoying the ambience of the place, sipping their tea and talking to the people around them.

What Is this Obsession?

People used to talk to each other, even smile at strangers and pass the time of day. Nowadays the only people doing this are old folk. Everyone else is immersed in their own little bubble world; they exist only to communicate. The problem is that they have nothing worthwhile to communicate because they no longer interact with the world and people around them.

No longer do people look around them as they walk, they look down at their phones.

No longer do people talk to the people they are sitting with, they send them SMS messages instead.

No longer do people re-tell jokes, they post them on their Facebook page instead.

True communication is dying, fast.

Isn't Facebook Communication?

Facebook is noise, rather than communication. When you update your FB status you add to the background noise in your contacts’ lives.

True communication involves listening and interacting with people.

Phones could give us extra communication opportunities; it is great to be able to talk to someone who has moved abroad. Smart phones even give us mobile video calls, something that we only saw in fantasy films a few years ago.

Are Smart Phones a Bad Idea?

Anyone who can remember back to the days of looking for a public telephone box will agree that mobile phones are great. Anyone who is away from home and needs to check their email would agree that smart phones are wonderful.

It is not the phones, but the way people use them. It is the social media sites that are the carbuncle on society’s backside, not smart phones.

Other Social Media Sites

Facebook is only one such site of course, and there are worse ones. Facebook is useful for family and friends to communicate with one another. It is only the constant updates that just provide free advertising to the restaurant where you happen to be enjoying yourself.

Twitter stands out as being a total waste of electrons. Why anyone would tweet about what they are doing is beyond any rational comprehension.

Twitter is like a room full of 2 year old children, very noisy because everyone is talking about themselves and nobody listening to anyone else. The whole twitter concept is just designed for “celebrities” to broadcast to their fans and for politicians and PR people to get their messages on the screens of people who are foolish enough to follow them.

LinkedIn seems to have a genuine purpose, to encourage networking between members. That it succeeds says a lot about the platform and the satisfaction people gain from it. I have received job offers from people on LinkedIn who have read my profile there. I have seen people updating their LinkedIn profile in airports and on trains, but generally this seems a much more thoughtful activity than telling the world you are going to the bathroom

. . .

Progress has given us 3G phones and the massive potential to access all the human knowledge that is on the Internet wherever we are. Surely people have better things to do than to update their social media statuses.

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