Communication is a prehistoric fascination that has spawned some of our species’ most significant inventions over the course of the last millennia. From the dawn of language and pictorials to the printing press, the telegraph and the telephone, each passing generation of humanity has found itself more interconnected than the previous one.
Social media will inevitably be the next era of this communication evolution and it is already leaving quite an imprint on the world. I have noticed in my own life social media’s strange dichotomy. Never before have we been so virtually connected. Never before could humans communicate so efficiently with individuals across the globe.
Hi. I miss you so so so much. You definitely can come home now. Your best friend misses you more then anything. I need you in my life rn. 💕💕 pic.twitter.com/ODElbV4BYF
— D A N N A (@danna_dannalee) December 13, 2016
Never before could we interact with so many people en masse. Never before have we had so much information at our fingertips, flying across our screens, exposing us to various perspectives, engaging us in far-flung events and responding back to our very thoughts.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how stupid was that post?
— Tommy's Robinsons (@TRobinsonEweEra) September 8, 2017
This, however, is merely one side of the social media coin. We (erm…I) have also resigned to this online medium. While our humanity exists primarily online, it has even become rarer in person. This week alone, I have had multiple dinners with friends where the entire group is off in their own, personalized virtual worlds instead of conversing with the people that they care about just across the table from them. It’s not just millennials — I even noticed a party of baby boomers doing the same thing just across the room. So while social media is bringing the world together in so many real and important ways, it has also pushed us apart IRL.