Friday, August 17, 2012

Social what now?


Like many writers I’m a fairly reserved person.  When I was younger I was extremely shy.  I couldn’t call the electric company without getting sick to my stomach.  The Engineer has spent a lot of time trying to help me come out of my shell.  He’s been very patient and I am now able to carry on conversations without vomiting or passing out.  Really, I can. Even a few years ago when I joined my writers’ website I was a mess.  For the first few months every time I posted I would email my mom and ask her to look at the comment and tell me if I was a dork or if I should delete it.  I’m blogging, when once this would have been impossible.  To achieve this amount of social freedom my husband has often pushed me out of my comfort zone.

The other day he was trying to get me to do something and he brought up the old “you need to be more social” argument. 

“I’m social.”  I argued.  “I blog or am on my writers website every day.” 

Then he said something truly outrageous.  “The internet doesn’t count as social.” 

So now I’m wondering, do you believe interactions on the internet are social?  I do.  They’re different than face to face interactions but they are still interactions with other people.  There are different considerations to take into account, but the skills I’ve learned by interacting with people on the internet have only helped my face to face encounters, and phone calls, because those were particularly terrifying. 

It would be easy to let the internet become the only way of communicating and I don’t believe that’s a good thing.  But I do believe the internet is a form of socialization.  What do you think?  How do you define socializing?

27 comments:

  1. Well, they don't call it "Social Media" for nothing. I think there's a social aspect to the Internet, but it doesn't quite replace actually getting out there are talking to people in person.

    I actually heard an interesting story on the radio the other day about how less and less teenagers were getting their driver's licenses because they could do all their "social" whatnot online and via phone now, whereas before if you wanted to chat with someone you had to actually drive to their house. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's kinda sad. Teenagers do need to learn face to face communication. How else will they learn to survive in their career?

      Delete
  2. That's funny: "The Internet doesn't count as social."

    I do understand where your husband is coming from. Even though this is "social media", we are still able to hide behind still photos of ourselves and carefully crafted words. In other words, "We're not who people think we are." We can't so easily hide who we are in real life. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true, we can hide bits of our self much easier on the internet.

      Delete
  3. Yep. Internet is definitely social. I think the best way you can tell if you're balanced about it, though, is if your interactions on the Internet are not confined to being on the Internet, if that makes sense.

    I think of my laptop as a place to catch the day, not make the day.

    Great post topic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, like anything it does need to be balanced.

      Delete
  4. I think I'm social, but like most people, I prefer to be social on my own terms. Many of my peers only want to talk about their kids. I'm not that kind of mom. Growing up, my mom never sat around with other "grown-ups" and talked about me or my siblings. She respected our privacy, and I do the same for my kids. But when I'm in a group of other moms, there's not much else they want to talk about. I'm so grateful for the online writing world where I can talk about something besides my child's napping habits. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know where you're coming from! Though lately I have been picking everyone's brains about potty training because my three year old STILL struggles.

      Delete
  5. The internet...the blogosphere...is all about interactions, and in my case I'm a better version of myself out here, a more social one. No, it is not the same as in-person, but it also shouldn't be discounted. Posting your inner thoughts requires confidence, something I'm sadly lacking in the real world. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true, it's much easier to build confidence on the internet.

      Delete
  6. I feel that blogging is definitely a social act- when you publish a post, you are opening up the channels of communication by allowing comments and responses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the back and forth that can come with comments.

      Delete
  7. I'm much more social with people at midnight if they're on my monitor rather than my living room. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not social at midnight at all. I'm generally out by 10. :)

      Delete
  8. The internet is social--but in a much different way than face-to-face encounters, of course. It brings, establishes, and molds a whole different and new set of social skills.

    I've met people via blogging or Twitter that I consider friends and hope to meet one day in 'real life.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have found many friends through blogging too. I'd be a little scared to meet them in person though. While I would love to do it I'm afraid they may go away vowing to sever all ties. There's my social insecurities showing again.

      Delete
  9. Blogging is different but it does count imo. Most of the time, I feel more social on line than in person but I still feel super nervous publishing posts or commenting and I don't know if I'll ever get over that. Heck, I'll probably check this comment 10 times before hitting the publish button. (:

    ReplyDelete
  10. He's right. The internet isn't social. What we do with this tool, is!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've met some of my BEST friends online.
    Definitely social.
    THAT being said - I also need to remember that there are people I live near, that I'd also like to chat with once in a while.
    If only I could get them all on twitter...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still scared of twitter. Maybe someday.

      Delete
  12. I think that it is definitely social but in a much different way. I have "met" many people (yourself included) via the internet whom I would not have met otherwise. I do think it is easier though when you can control which face you are presenting to people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true, you get to meet a wider range of people, both personality wise and geographically, on line.

      Delete
  13. I agree with Charlie, well, actually I agree with everyone. Of course it's social, and of course teenagers need to learn one-on-on skills too. Think of what it was like before the internet. Makes me shake remembering how lonely it was as a writer. I just met one of my fellow bloggers this past weekend. It was like seeing an old friend, only one I'd never seen before.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The internet is definitely socializing - I've made so many wonderful friends, and some of us actually meet in person :-)

    Just look at all the trolls and people who take themselves too seriously and so on - there are all kinds of personality types we've got learn to get along with.

    That said, I'd rather be emailing than on the phone, any day.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's a nice blog to provide a good information. Hope more people reaching your blog because you are sharing a good information. I bookmarked this blog further more useful information. Thanks for sharing this.......... PPI Claim Companies

    ReplyDelete