What could be more quintessentially human than wanting to connect with other human beings? To share in others’ triumphs, console them on their losses, and rely on them to do the same for us is part of what makes us, well, us.
The Internet has sometimes been criticized as a medium that fosters social isolation. The argument is that those who spend a lot of time online are not truly connecting with others – rather, they indulge in the illusion of human connection, a fantasy that leaves them more and more isolated and out of touch with reality. However, many of us would argue that just the opposite is true. Through social media, we can connect with our friends on so many levels, regardless of the distances and time zones that separate us.
We can play games together, and share photos, videos, news stories, and music. We can send messages to each other instantly. We can even talk face to face via video chat – for free!
Social media is an excellent way to maintain relationships with those whom we might otherwise never communicate with, because it gives us insight into their lives. Social media is a forum for big events and daily minutia, alike.
And it’s not just about knowing the major, life-changing happenings in someone’s life that can make you feel close to someone. It’s also all of the little things that might not seem important enough to share with distant friends and relatives. Taken together, these minor details provide a more intricate and intimate understanding of your friend’s wellbeing.
While we’re not aware of any concrete research studying the effects of social media on the retention of long-term relationships, we’re certain the data would show a distinct correlation between social media use and keeping in touch with old friends.
Think about it: how many old friends are you connected with on Facebook? How many times have you received friend requests from people you haven’t thought of in many years, or those you’ve been wondering about for just as long?
If you’re like most of us, then you’ve received many of these requests, and your life is richer as a result. It’s nice to know that your old friend who struggled in college has finally made a name for himself, or that the sweet girl who was unlucky in love finally met a great guy. It’s great to have people to reminisce about the good ol’ days with, and it’s fun to see how much old pals’ kids look like they did when they were young!
If you want to stay “linked in” with old friends, social media is a great way to do it.
For those of us who can’t find our friends or relatives on Facebook or on other social media sites, don’t fret! The internet isn’t only for staying in touch, it’s also for getting in touch! Try out a people search website like PeopleFinders.com, which offers a massive database for you to find a person for free – whether it’s an old friend or a long lost love – and get back in touch today!
Photo Credit: Creative Commons
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