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Calvin Davis

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How will this generation of social media break the chains of smartphones and computers and return to classic social interaction?

Before 2005 and Facebook, social interaction was different. Dating was personal and there were few websites and social media outlets that aided in connecting human beings. In many ways this techonology is great in connecting those in different geographic locations, but now it is so excessive that it is beginning to degrade the in-person social IQ of many. Specifically the generation of 15-25 year olds. When this social media trend ends, how will these people reintegrate themselves back into settings where a high social IQ is needed?

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Closing Statement from Calvin Davis

It has always been self-evident that social media has improved the ways in which humans communicate. It is important to remember how to integrate this technology into classic human interaction, so that we do not allow this technology to be the reason in which we forget basic roots.

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  • Jan 8 2013: 1900: How will this generation of book readers break the chains of books and return to classic social interaction?

    1930: How will this generation of radio listeners break the chains of radio and return to classic social interaction?

    1970: How will this generation of TV watchers break the chains of TV and return to classic social interaction?

    2012: How will this generation of social media break the chains of smartphones and computers and return to classic social interaction?

    The answer is simple: if TV didn't fry your brain then social media and computers probably won't fry the brains of today's youths.
  • Jan 9 2013: Social media has its place; so does physical one-on-one interaction.
    Those who are interested in deep and lasting relationship would know what to do to take their relationship to the next level.
    Communication is very important in human relationships; and there's even much more to learn or discover with body language and words unspoken.

    So, yes, social media has come to stay; but it usually just gives a one-sided point of view like an advertisment. It takes much more than social media to know the real person.
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      Jan 10 2013: Mr. Kirhagis and Mr.Parent make worthwhile appeals to recognize the positive value of remote social interaction. You balance the debate with reminders of the value of face time. Balance is the key on the tightrope of life. New technology always faces an uphill battle in gaining acceptance from the transitioning generation. I fought getting a microwave oven for years! I remember my grandpa telling about resisting the use of a slide rule. Dylan was right. The times they a changin'. These whippersnappers don't sound like deluded narcissists to me. See you on Myface Mr. Anjorin. :-D
  • Jan 8 2013: As a young man of 23, I take a special interest in generalized statements about people of my generation and how this or that technology is affecting us socially, mentally, etc. Although it might be true that there are some people out there who have grown up to be socially awkward, they are the gross minority.

    Gen Tech (my term, feel free to use) is a generation that has evolved in how we communicate. We still know how to communicate in person. We know how to make eye contact, how to use body language to indicate interest or disinterest, how to shake hands and how to comfort others; we also know how to communicate with and through technology. Ze Frank put it well in his talk Ze Frank's Web Playroom when he describes someone on the street scrolling through their phone when they get a Facebook message or a text message that makes them smile and laugh, or makes them sad. Ze Frank describes that as life being lived, just in a different environment.

    My generation lives in two realms that parallel and compliment each other. When we meet our friends and family and partners in person, we shake hands, hug, kiss and welcome each other with smiles. When we talk to someone on Facebook or in a text, we say Goodmorning! with a :)
    It is not a matter of our social IQ being degraded, it is a matter of the definition of social IQ needing to be redefined.
    • Jan 8 2013: Mitchell, I agree with you in many ways! It is nice to hear this side from a socially aware “Gen Tech” person. I totally agree that if used properly, the current social media network can bolster social IQ and redefine the way it is seen. Unfortunately, every Gen Tech person I run into is not as aware as you stated in your previous post as to the unforeseen positives and possibilities that are created by social media.

      The most entertaining person to observe are those Gen Tech persons who are loud, boisterous and confident when online; yet when you meet them they slouch, curl into a ball and are a totally different person. Yes, social media gives that power and it is good in certain cases. I just hope that Gen Tech remains strong and can blend their internet persona with their in-person persona and create the ultimate social IQ in human interaction.

      I do think this immediate flow of information we enjoy is great is many ways. Just like a man who carries a paper map to compliment his GPS, I hope that Gen Tech can remain in tune with being in-person social.
      For me, this train of thought came about when I realize that there are 100s of Apps and dating sites out there, all with have revolution the way we see the world; and at the same time taking away some classic methods of social interaction.

      I am interested to see Gen Tech embody that two realm social existence you spoke of. When effectively used in practice and execution, Gen Tech could be the best thing that ever happened. Conversely, it could also prove to be a hindrance.

      Interesting read in 1997: The Harvard Conference on The Internet and Society.
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    Jan 8 2013: I think this casts social media in entirely the wrong light. Social media gives a voice to so many who otherwise would not have one. It strengthens bonds between those who otherwise would not interact at all (old friends, colleagues, classmates). It is an outlet to spread ideas that otherwise would go unnoticed by large segments of the population. Also, and probably most importantly, it allows those without the resources that are usually needed to come together and affect positive change in their surroundings (see egypt).

    If anything social media has fast tracked not only the development of social IQ, but social awareness as well.
  • Jan 8 2013: Greg,

    I know it may seem hypocritical for me to be using an internet outlet to discuss the ways that social media is degrading social IQ. I do not believe that everyone who interacts via social media are not incapable of in-person contact, but I still contend that the “social IQ” I describe becomes the question.

    Social IQ is built through varies means of contact, and can be strengthened through the proper use of social media. Everyone does not degrade from high frequency social media interaction, but those in the age range of peak personality development are those that may suffer.

    For people born before 1993 or so, this is not a problem because they lived in a world where social media was not the base means of communication, thus able to cope with integrating social networking into their in-person contact. Those now growing up where people walk in herds but are looking down at their mobile device are those I worry about. These are the people whose social IQ will suffer.

    One example: I had an employee whose job was to interact with people in-person, but in his personal live was an avid Word of War craft gamer. He was 18 years old and had been sheltered by his mother and was often called socially awkward. As his supervisor I took the challenge to help him navigate the social landscape, using real life social situations to bolster his confidence and gain experience. After many in-person social experiences he was beginning to get the picture of how the world works outside of social media and gaming apparatuses.

    The point I am attempting to make is that those who feel powerful behind the auspices of an avatar of twitter handle are the ones who may need true in-person interaction to increase their social IQ, which is more valuable than most would think.
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    Jan 8 2013: Yeah, I don't think interacting via media means you can't interact in person. I think conversing for example on TED also gives you something to talk about with the people right around you.
  • Jan 8 2013: Duly noted and great examples of how new innovations spark the thoughts of how deep the effect will be. I think this period of social media will have a more prominent effect. In part due to the increased technology and ease of finding information. Those previous innovations didn't effect the social need for direct results like social media and the internet does. My example, most young persons get very annoyed if a google search takes more than 3 seconds, verses the previous generations that had to use libraries, encycolopedias and elders. This need for direct satisfaction translates into more behaviors that hinder growth than not. However, as you point out, the simple answer is not to become socially handicapped by these great tools of technology that have helped society. Thus reverting it back to a personal responsibility not to allow your brain to be fried.