Online connectivity has amazing potential and application that can allow us to connect with anyone in the entire world in a mere instant. Every day millions of new pieces of information are stored online. However, like the garden of Eden this unlimited wealth of knowledge has a dark side to it. We were designed to connect to people in real ways like in-person conversations, a subtle glance, or simply sharing the same space as another person. These experiences help formulate our intuition, people skills, our personalities. These moments cannot be simply simulated, and expect someone to develop socially the same without tangible experiences. Our online connectivity should be taught responsibly as a tool that can enhance, but not replace real interactions. Image a teenage boy that has the ability to asks a girl to homecoming in 2015 via a text or online compared to a teenage boy from the 80's who had to do it in person. I wouldn't ask the question of which boy had a more meaningful experience, but which boy walked away gaining a more formative experience? Technology allows us all like the boy in my example to circumvent important aspects of experiences that help craft us. It is always easier to take the simple route, but what happens when we take the path less traveled?
Don't be lured into believing the countless messages and articles that parade around online like fact without context. We have an entire generation growing up right now learning to formulate their beliefs based on illformed opinions masquerading as facts. Those that remember living in a simpler time before smart phones and computers need to teach our kids true life skills first. We are naturally programmed to like face-to-face interactions with tangible results. Social media is like the original campfire only surrounded by billions of people we don't know. It almost serves the same purpose, but not matter how hard it tries it cannot replace sitting around a real fire with real people.
- Robby Silk