Social butterfly

Media has consumed our lives, when should we put it down?

We tweet, post, blog, check-in, like and tag, but when do we ever just simply talk to someone?

I will admit that I am constantly either on my phone or my computer, and rarely give people face-to-face contact. With the world connected through social media, it has given us an opportunity to communicate through many different mediums. However, it doesn’t even compare to a conversation in person.

Last week, on a church retreat, I gave away all forms of time and communication and did what I often never get to do – focus on the people I am actually talking to. I spent a weekend with a group of students and it was nice to see conversations without being interrupted by the chatter of thumbs across a keyboard.

Between our new smart-phones, iPods, and laptops, no-matter how hard we try, we cannot get away from communicating with other people. As I walk around campus I always see people glued to their phones and never looking up. They miss life happening outside of their computer screens. We get so obsessed with what’s happening around the world, we forget about the life right in front of our faces.

We communicate more, but how often do we listen to the other person? Our conversations never seem to go past simple small talk and are often interrupted or blurred out by the constant noise we have grown so accustomed to.

I know I am the worst with this, but with so many people talking at once, it’s hard to just block everything out. Even as I write this article, I am talking to two different people online, texting a few more and listening to music. Our world has given us a million ways to communicate, but really, when is the last time we sat down and had a conversation uninterrupted?

According to, during an average 20-minute period in 2010, there were 1,5870,000 wall posts, 2,716,000 photos uploaded and 10,208,000 comments posted. Of course, not all of the posts are newsworthy. We must realize that the media keeps on coming, whether we look at it or not. Sooner or later we will have to just step away from everything and listen.

I believe we get so caught up in everyone else’s lives and what they are doing online that we forget to live our own.

Media is not all bad and has done a lot of good for people. New technologies have given people the opportunity to talk to loved ones far away, promote their businesses and get information instantly. Even though we have been given this wonderful opportunity to live in a world full of information and technology, I hope we still understand the power of personal interaction. n