Saturday, July 31, 2010

“Rushed and Connected: Why Do We Crave Social Networking?”

Do you get an adrenalin rush viewing a snippet of unimportant information on your social networking page? Perhaps an incredibly accessible internet with our sense of personal isolation promotes our craving for social networking. Why do we exist in a state of continual “hurry and worry” with a need to be connected remotely rather than personally face to face? Do we live sheltered within our pressing moments, a click away from our next connection?

Have you ever wondered, while out in traffic, why cars are racing, darting in and out of traffic lanes, their drivers hurriedly talking on their cell phones? When we reach our intended destination, have we completed a purposeful objective? Or, do we rush on to another scheduled commitment?

Why do we stay in constant communication with a distant voice and texting, adding simple remarks on social networks, remain available to chat with online strangers or people you knew years ago, yet not know the name of your next-door neighbor?

Nevertheless, the list is almost endless with positive online social networking opportunities: gaming, dating, learning, business, health, social, shopping, blogging, job searching, and health; they still remain as abstract social connectedness.

Online networking can be meaningless, even inane; compared to time spent reading good literature, sitting down visiting with a friend, or writing expressive discourse. Some captured remarks off my page: “We need rain.” “I will enjoy buying school crayons.” “My dog misses me.” “I hear thunder.”

This is first-rate conversation?

Yet, virtual social urgency somehow feels safe, a consoling part of us, less judgmental, and we don’t have to find ourselves feeling self-conscious in front of others. There is no body language to read.

Happily, social net pages lack traditional societal income level pecking orders, and rely more on meritorious achievement connecting “like minds.”

Subsequently, we are all in there together, and can easily remove ourselves by touching the off button. Or “X’ them off our list. Done. Chats can be unanswered. Nothing is justifiable, or has to be explained, no commitments.

Today’s Gen Y generation is “I want it now – and I will get it now.” That means, they have to hurry to get it, or at least they think they do. And, they remain connected online. Is the internet the perpetrator, or is it merely a fast-tract social avenue?

Those that seem to be in the biggest hurry are Gen Y, people ages 18-32 and are 30% of the internet population. Those younger, ages 12-17, are online 92% of the time, whether it is communicating through texting, locked in entertainment, or researching on netbooks or smart phones. (Pew Internet Research, January 2009. “Generations Online, 2009.”)

This younger group, our teens rush also, especially when going out for fun or shopping, expecting the next moment to change their reality. Staying in a constant state of “trivial busyness,” they receive instant gratification from the internet’s beckoning social opening, their virtual world. Do social pages satisfy their inner insecurities and nervous anxieties?

Maybe it is time to step back and spend less time with the addictive social connectedness rush. Quietly consider future objectives and how we might reach them. There is a saying, that all comes to fruition in the “fullness of time.” Unfortunately, creating a sense of purpose takes patience, with directed focus. It is something to contemplate.

1 comment:

Stacey Hatton said...

Great blog, Jan! Thought provoking, but I need to go now back to FaceBook! :)