Many people believe that social media bring people closer. This technology makes communication just one button away. As long as you have access to the Internet, it is easy to talk with the people you love or even start a conversation with someone whom you have just met over the web. However, with everyone getting busy chatting using their phone, actual human face to face conversation has started to decline. Therefore, we now face the challenge of building real human relationships with technology as a barrier.
Talking to strangers: A policy no more
You might still remember back when you were young and your parents always reminded you not to talk to strangers. However, with the ease in online communication, it is possible to speak with almost all types of strangers. Each day, how many strangers have you spoken with via forums, Facebook chats or Twitter responses? In short, these days, everyone ignores the idea that talking to a stranger is a bad thing. This has in fact become the reason why a lot of people have easily built pseudo-relationships online. Sadly, this has resulted to unwanted incidents such as abuse, cyberbullying, rape and drug addiction. Parents can barely control what their children do. Children these days are free to do whatever they want online since they have minimal restrictions.
Online relationships that don’t last
At some point, you might be proud to say that you have over 1,000 friends in Facebook or your have hundreds of thousand followers in Twitter. However, how many of them do you know personally? Are they like the friends that you have grown up who constantly speak with you and be there for you in times of need? For most friendships that have bloomed online, everything starts and ends on the web. Some others might not even have the courage to face the people they have met online.
There are also those who speak with each other online as if they really are close to each other. However, once they meet each other on the street, they would not even dare say hi. According to studies, it is easier for people to speak their minds out online. They can just choose the words that they want to say without necessarily being judged based on their facial expressions or the tone of their voice. This makes people believe that they have built self-confidence and eradicated social anxiety, but in fact they haven’t.
How to overcome the challenges
There are a lot of ways to ensure that genuine relationships will still be crafted online. Constant and sincere conversations are among them. Make sure that you spend time knowing the people you have met online. For those who have totally gotten your trust, take some time to meet them up over a cup of coffee. During the meet up, avoid using your phone. At home, every family member must try to save their family time. During this time, any form of online communication should not be allowed. By then, despite the presence of modern technology, honest interaction can still be made.
There are a lot of things that you can learn from people when you speak with them on a personal level. Aside from exchanging meaningless words, you also form deeper connections with them. Therefore, you need to make use of technology as an aid to start a conversation. However, it must not end there.