Face to Face? or Face to Mouse?

Just been ‘surfing’ again and came across this guy called Danny Brown and his blog on the use of social media.

Some of the points he raises in his posts are very relevant in modern society and his relaxed style is one I admire and indeed aim to achieve with my own blog.

Any who here’s his link, take a look, and here is my reaction to his view on the ability to converse outside of social media.

Making time for conversation

http://dannybrown.me/2011/03/04/making-time-for-conversation/

Danny talks about his experience of not being able to strike up a conversation with an elderly lady in a coffee shop when given a probable opportune moment to do so. He explains that he feels this is down to the fact that social media has overtaken the once ‘human’ ability of being able to strike up a conversation with anybody at any point, ‘face to face’. This is where the questions start to be asked.

In modern society the ability to type onto a screen what you feel, what your opinion is on somebody else, your inner most thoughts and indeed maybe some dark secrets is constantly on the edge of your finger tips, literally. This is all fine and dandy in the world of social media and across the internet, as if you call somebody a pratt online, what is the risk to you sat there in your mum’s basement eating cheese triangles? What is the risk of you receiving a thump from the person you are calling a pratt? Zero. What is the risk that somebody will say, ‘Hey you can’t say that to them!‘? Zero.

This is what annoys me modern society.

If you take the same person eating cheese triangles in their mum’s basement and pluck them out of their environment and drop them in front of the person they are calling a pratt, do they press enter or backspace? My guess is backspace. It’s this ability to be able say anything you want to anyone without repercussions to yourself whilst doing so. It debilitates the human need for interaction, ‘face to face’. It’s how we as humans communicate best and will, in my eyes, always be. You cannot have a true conversation relating real feelings with anybody behind a computer screen.

In terms of business I understand the need once more for you to be able to communicate your aims, ideas and initiatives quickly and directly to any possible clients. This is what social media is good for, canvassing. It is purely a beginning step for anybody wanting to ‘network’ within their chosen field, it can never become the true and sole means of conversation. The interaction between two people is priceless for seeing the emotion, the identity, the reaction of the person you are talking to. You will gain so much more from physical conversation with somebody than behind a screen, not just in terms of business needs but personally. And in a modern society that constantly shows signs of strain, trust issues (Nick Clegg anyone?), fragility and unrest I think we could all do with breaking down the barrier of the computer screen and begin to start trusting ourselves with our mother tongue whether we make mistakes or not.

Peace and love folks,

Captain Squirrel

P.S. I understand the irony that I am speaking from behind a computer screen! 😉

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One Response to Face to Face? or Face to Mouse?

  1. woody says:

    First of all, I enjoyed reading your blog. Your points about social interaction were intriguing, and in many respects I agree with you. Sitting behind a computer screen and communicating cannot even begin to compare to going out and meeting new people and striking up friendships. It is the difference between watching a champion’s league footballfinal on TV, and actually physically being there at the game.

    However, what if some people need that sense of seclusion to strike up conversation? Psychologically speaking, what if someone was shy, or considered themselves ugly, or found it hard to communicate out in the real world? Would you then condemn them for wanting to, or even needing a computer as a form of communication? Although I agree that it is a shallow substitute, I think that online communication is becoming a much more widely respected form of communication, and as the platforms change, so must the ideologies and opinions.

    Another point could be the idea of stepping stones. People may use online communication to ready themselves for ‘real world’ interaction. It allows people to be themselves in a safe environment safe from persecution and ridicule. That is what you said also, so I agree with you there. A computer screen doesn’t judge, and can help improve self-confidence and interaction for those that aren’t adept at forming relationships.

    Nice post.

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