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Column: Social media often makes us anti-social

I’m over it. It’s just not so much fun anymore.

Like anything else we become enamored with when it arrives on the scene, the luster of social media — at least for me — has worn off.

Facebook used to be a wonder — a way to connect with those we’ve lost along the way, a way to share precious photos of precious times.

But now, it’s been reduced to a “mine’s better than yours” faceoff.

So-and-so’s vacation is better than yours, their house is bigger, their dog is cuter — even their dinner looks yummier.

Not to say I don’t still go there, at least once a day. And yes, I post photos of my vacations, my family and friends, and happy times.

But I never view it as a competition and sadly, many do.

I use Twitter, too, but mainly to keep up on news around here, and around the world, when I don’t have time to sit down and read all of the newspapers and magazines I’d like to.

Even my daughter has begun to shun these outlets in favor of getting out in the world and looking up, rather than down at a 3-by-6-inch screen all of the time.

She is re-learning the value of interacting with a real person.

Co-authors of New York Times bestsellers like “Crucial Conversations,” Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, recently analyzed how “likes” and the need for other social media praise impact our lives.

The results paint a picture of a media-obsessed society and found, for one thing, that 58 percent of people polled said “posting the perfect picture has prevented them from enjoying life experiences.”

That’s what I’m talking about. I’ve been guilty myself. Taking photos from a boat in Hilton Head so I can get them posted as soon as possible and missing the view of a leaping dolphin or a surfer catching the perfect wave with my own eyes — things I don’t get to see in Pittsburgh.

I’m not saying I’m abandoning social media. It’s a useful tool and allows me to communicate with those I love and don’t get to see very often. I just think we need to take a step back and realize that sometimes, it’s more like anti-social media.

Mya Koch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at [email protected] or 412-324-1403.


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