My Thoughts on Social Media and Emoticons

I think I was born in the wrong time period.  I prefer the good old days when life was more simple.  I’m a straight forward guy.  I not very good with computers.  If I want to talk to somebody, I’ll either call them up on the phone or preferably, talk to them in person.  We’ve gotten so busy. Busy with work, kids, activities, meetings, fundraisers, committees, commuting, etc., etc.  There are always things to do and places to go. Never enough time.  And the older we get, the faster time goes by and the busier we get.  Until, our lives have literally fast-forwarded by years rather than days and you’re left wondering, “where did it all go”?

I hate how social media has completely changed friendships and relationships today.  It has eliminated any kind of personal aspect to how we communicate.  We’ve lost that personal touch, body language, inflection of speech and actual human contact.  This is soon going to be a lost art and my kids and the future generations are going to be the ones who suffer.  I mean what the hell are we teaching our kids and how are they ever going to succeed in the real world if they don’t know how to communicate with each other and have real life relations with people?

I completely understand the appeal of social media, texting and emoticons.  It’s convenient and quick, when time is of the essence today. You think, “Oh, I don’t have time to call Jimmy, so I’m just going to send him a text”.  But what’s so mind boggling is that often, that same person, who is in such a rush, is now deep in a text conversation back and forth that is taking up way more time than it would have taken to just have a normal phone conversation!  I know these kids are super fast at texting nowadays, but it does take up more time to type and fix any typos that aut0-correct screws up, than is does to just talk and say what you want to say.  Then you have the added hassle of that lost inflection of speech.  So, the person you’re texting with, is taking something you texted the wrong way.  Now, you have to take time to clear up the misunderstanding or possibly hurt/angry feelings.  It’s craziness!

Sadly, I’m not the exception.  I fall victim to this all the time.  I have friends that I haven’t actually spoken to in years.  But I wish them a Happy Birthday and chat with them on Facebook on a regular basis.  I post pictures of my kids and they post pictures of theirs.  I “like” their pictures and they “like” mine.  So, it’s all good, right?  Is this what friendship is today?  That’s horribly sad.  Now, we have reaction buttons to choose from, instead of just “like”.  So, we can “love” a post or show a sad emoji face.  Am I the only one who sees the downside to all of this and thinks this is just stupid??

Bottom line is I just think social media his has gotten way out of hand.  I realize the irony and hypocrisy of this statement since I do have an iPhone, iPad, a Facebook account and the fact that I’m on the internet right now writing this blog.  I do enjoy the convenience that technology has to offer, but I hate the ugliness of social media.  I love how I can reconnect with a friend who I haven’t heard from in years.  I love how I can easily find out what’s going on with a local event and who’s going.  I love how I can keep in the loop with my town and my kids’ school.  I love how I can find a photographer, a plumber, a landscaper or whatever by just searching and finding their page or asking my “friends” if they know of anyone.  I love how it’s so easy to get the word out for prayers, support or funding for special causes.  I think social media is great for a lot of reasons.  But, I hate how easy it is to consume your life.  Time wasted searching your news feed, distracting you with stupid shit you just don’t need to care about.  I hate how it’s so easy to cyber bully or target kids in a negative way.  I hate how it has completely taken the place of true friendships and destroyed how relationships and communication is meant to be.  I hate that instead of sharing a good belly laugh with a friend, I’m posting a laughing emoticon and typing LOL.  This is not what I want for my kids.

I want my kids to reflect back on their youth with visuals and memories of hanging out with their friends.  With going to each other’s houses for parties and sleep overs.  Playing outside, riding their bikes, playing sports and going for walks.  Giving hugs, hand shakes, high fives or fist bumps. Making eye contact with a crush, flirting and having butterflies in their stomach.  I want them to have real life memories, not memories of being by themselves watching life on a screen.

So, you may be asking yourself right now, “If this guy hates social media and emoticons so much, then why the heck is his website called, “emoticon-maker.net”??  Well, simply because I’m weird like that!  Hey, I said I like things simple, but I never said I was boring!  I actually do consider myself an “emoticon maker”, in the sense that I can actually make emoticons with my …FACE!!  Haha!  It’s called real life facial expressions people and I can make them all by myself!  I can have a sad face, happy face, kissing face, surprised face, annoyed face, angry face and so on!  It’s a novel idea, I know!