Could Social Networking Damage Our Ability to Meet Face to Face
A story in the Daily Mail today revealed some worrying facts about our society.
A reporter for the national newspaper posted an image of an attractive woman called Charlie on social networking site Badoo. She was imaginary – a made up 21-year-old from London who worked in sales and was in an ‘open relationship‘.
In less than 24 hours, “Charlie” had received 1,500 messages from men who were interested in finding out more.
The expectation was that the majority of men who had got in touch were only after one thing – which was largely true – but in fact a high number of them were actually lonely and looking for some kind of solace.
So does this mean that people are using social networking sites as their primary source to find companionship or even love? The Daily Mail article states that figures released recently show that the majority of people living alone in the UK are men aged between 45 and 64 due to the decline of marriages and family break ups.
It’s a worrying state of affairs if people are using the internet to replace real social interactions. Are people no longer making the effort to meet people in the flesh? Have we succumbed to using a computer screen to find out more about someone that we could have potential relationship or friendship with?
Unfortunately it’s become too easy – don’t have much confidence with the opposite sex? Join a dating site where you can chat to people without having the worry of having to walk up to someone in a public place and strike up a conversation.
People are using a photo and a (often) fake biography to attract potential partners and friends. Of course people you meet in pubs or nightclubs may also elaborate on their facts of life to impress you but live, human interaction is irreplaceable.
As it becomes more widely acceptable, the worse it will become. Why would you want a relationship with someone that is based on a few sentences and a photograph? Because it’s easy, because our lives are busy and because people think that’s the only way left to interact.
Social networking has its advantages, but at the end of the day it can become a fantasy world for a lot of people and many can unfortunately lose their grip on reality.