Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Does being "social" online make you less "social" offline? An observation in blog form:

This is a Flickr photo from / January Tweetup and my friend, Alyssa Gardina's (@agardina) Birthday party. If you look closely, you will see how everyone in the photo is looking at their smart phones and texting or reading messages.

This photo was staged to be funny (and it is) but as the Mother of a 9-year old son it made me wonder... is this the future of his "social" life? My husband doesn't even call me anymore. He likes to text me. When I asked him about it he response was, "I just want to say what I need to say and get on with my day and not have to, you know, talk." I think I was just insulted. Is he saying my dialog about new shoes, what to make for dinner and the errands that need to be done are meaningless chatter to him? The nerve!

My friends with older children talk about how their kids sit at the dinner table and text messages back and forth to each other - but don't actually have real conversations. Without meaningful conversations and playful interactions and drunken situations (for those over 21) you cannot REALLY know me in 140 characters. And I don't care how in-depth and revealing your blog posts are. Without time spent together, I cannot really know you either.

A new study (Aug. 09) from Australia's Monash University has shown that predictive texters finish their exams faster and with more errors than others, because of course, when your mobile finishes your words in a text, you expect it to finish your sentences in a test. If children today don't develop their vocabulary and engage in social situations that will make them polished and educated people, able to integrate into social situations, God help the job market of the future - much less your chance of sweet-talking a girl into bed after a few cocktails. I'm just sayin'.

There's a lot to be said for talking. Offline. Person to person. A LOT.

PS: Girl in the purple shirt, I cannot believe you are siting bare-legged on that NASTY floor. Shudder.