In the words of Vincent Nichols, “We’re losing social skills, the human interaction skills, how to read a person’s mood, to read their body language, how to be patient until the moment is right to make or press a point. Too much exclusive use of electronic information dehumanizes what is a very, very important part of community life and living together.”
Too complicated to understand? Let me break it down.
Recently I was out for dinner with a group of friends. We all sat down at the table. Everyone at the table took their phones out and started to look through their news feed on social media. We eagerly updated our location on Facebook, clicked some amazing pictures of our food, (How can we forget the Instagram!) ate our food, paid the bill and left.
So I guess we all are social animals, at least on social media. The definition of being social these days is more about knowing what other people are up to, or what they think about our updates, our pictures, our choice of places. Even when sitting with a group of people, we are more interested in knowing what someone else is doing at that point. Conversations start with “look at what so and so is doing” and not with how the person sitting next to us is doing.
Some people are socially awkward and I believe it’s not the lack of knowledge that stops a person from being social; it’s the lack of confidence. We are more concerned about what someone else’s opinion about us is. I think people are just as scared of you, as you are of them.
You know how when you’re watching a show on television and something goes awkward? You literally feel that awkwardness, as if you were responsible for inducing that awkwardness?
By being scared of people, aka being awkward, you’ll naturally evoke awkwardness in others. And if you evoke this trait in someone who’s not afraid to speak their mind, aka a loud mouthed extrovert, they’re going to make it overt, some way or another.
Have you ever noticed, going on a stage with a hundred friends cheering you on and going on a stage with no one in the crowd to back you? How would this feel? Now, when you know there are a hundred people in the crowd cheering you, know you; you tend to become comfortable with yourself despite being nervous, because the comfort of knowing people is at your end. This is what socializing does to you. The confidence, being comfortable in your skin comes when you mingle with people, Technology cannot give us this confidence about ourselves.
The point here is the human touch in conversation, the presence of another person, loud laughter; sharing stories basically everything that connects people is missing in real life. On the contrary we are doing it well on social media.
Technology keeps us connected. But this new technology has completely changed the way humans are now socializing.
Socializing teaches us to be confident, gives us the insight of what others are thinking. It gives us a perception on life and opens our mind for creativity.
Be comfortable, open up to other people, talk, share your feelings, go out and get to know other people, travel and stop thinking about rejections.
The saying “It’s better to ask a question and look like a fool instead of keeping quiet and being a fool for rest of your life” goes well with socializing. We can choose to be socially awkward or we can be social. The choice is ours.