Sunday, February 5, 2012

Keeping It In Perspective!

I try to keep a balanced approach to social media in my life – i.e., I keep my Tweets to once a day and I only check Facebook a couple of times a week….. not easy recently as I have reconnected with quite a few ‘old’ friends through FB! This of course is delightful to say the least! Wonderful that short messages and a few clicks make it possible to re-establish human connections across vast miles and many countries. However, I find the follow up, the moving on from FB into emails, Skyping, phoning, and if possible actually getting together for a beverage, is the really gratifying piece. The short-lived (and very public) connection made via social media gives an equally short-lived and often superficial satisfaction. Maybe that is why this increase in accessibility to each other parallels an increase in social ‘phobias’ and social insecurities and anxiety, especially amongst young people? I know I am not the only coach/counselor finding this in my practice. We are seeing clear evidence of the fact that with all the advantages of technology, human beings still need the human, face-to-face connection for true fulfillment and friendship to flourish. What I have found personally, is that once a friendship is established, ‘in the flesh’, social media can help keep lines of communication open and so support it’s upkeep; keeping it all in perspective!
In order for us all the learn to use social media in a healthy, supportive way, I believe we need to place a little more emphasis in our educational environments (and that includes ALL stages of education) on building social and emotional intelligence …………the basic life skills that actually form the foundation for success and fulfillment – but now that’s a whole new subject and another blog entry……. :-)

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