Is “talking” to people on social media really talking?
One and a half billion people use Facebook, most of which on a regular basis. But when you get into the daily habit of checking your Facebook account first thing every morning and last thing every night, what was just an addition to your social life can take over and become your main form of communication with the outside world.
Someone sends you a passive aggressive Facebook message, asking you to kindly respond to their rather demanding email that you’ve been ignoring for the past three days. You lie, you’ve been sick, your mum’s been sick, your dog’s been sick, you just haven’t had time to reply because you’re such a caring person that all your hard work has gone into looking after the sick.
Sending messages via the internet allows us to talk with a stronger voice – a voice of pixels.
It doesn’t matter if we make a joke that isn’t really a joke because they aren’t going to do anything, except use their pixel voice to send us a sarky message back.
Once more the real world would have saved you this bit of unnecessary hassle. In a face to face situation you could have responded to them instantly.
Or maybe they wouldn’t have gotten so direct, after all it’s easier to be polite when there’s a face looking back at you, pressuring you to play nice.
A crazy amount of misunderstandings arise from using pixels to express your opinions and not your tone of voice – really, we should have learnt by now.
Now is the time to peel your eyes away from all the screens (it’ll make them square anyway) and to face the big scary world of face-to-face conversations.
It may be a bit more nerve-wracking to have awkward conversations face-to-face but it’s also a lot more liberating. Plus, people can’t hug via the internet.