How Has Social Media Changed Your Social Life?

Social media platforms have grown in popularity and reach. Billions of people around the world use them. How does that use impact an actual social life?

The promise of social media is that it would help you to be, well, more social. Ideally, a social media app like Instagram, Facebook, or Tik Tok (as well as many others) would allow you to stay in touch with friends and family in a new and more immersive way.

That hope is in the very name “social media”. If you want to keep in touch with someone, you can do so in a way you couldn’t before. You might even be able to meet people who share your interests that you might not otherwise have the chance to meet. It is a new dimension that you can add to your social life.

The reality, though, is a mixed bag. While you can see just what your loved ones are up to (not to mention getting a peek at the lives of celebrities!), it is more complicated than that.

Studies show more people than ever experience feelings of loneliness and isolation. Children who grow up with social media may have more difficulty interacting with peers in a real life environment. Who hasn’t seen a couple at a restaurant not talking to each other, but instead staring at their phones?

Do you have any anecdotes about how social media has directly impacted, positively or negatively, your real life? What are the pros and cons? Does it depend on which app you use, or how or when you use it?

Related questions: What do you get out of social media? Why does social media often bring out the worst in us? What makes us comment on social media? Can an internet friend be a true companion?

How Has Remote Work Impacted Your Friendships?

With remote work gaining popularity due to the pandemic, some employers are worried about weakening relationships between employees. But could it be impacting friendships?

For many adults, the workplace is one of the only places to consistently meet new people. Some coworkers may become friendly, and might even go so far as to socialize together outside of the office. Many deep, meaningful friendships have started in the halls at work.

Remote work threatens to change that. If you only interact with people over an online chat or in a group conference call, there are fewer opportunities to develop relationships.

Employers fear that may lead to a lack of cohesion in work-based teams. That may be the case, but it may also lead to shallow, superficial interpersonal relationships that never have the chance to grow into something deeper.

Studies have shown that the number of people — particularly men — suffering from loneliness and depression is on the rise. If one of the few opportunities for making friends is reduced or even removed, what might that mean for this data?

Of course, this concern may be overblown. People can make real, strong connections with people they mostly interact with online. It is also true that a workplace may not be the best place to look for friendships.

What do you think? Is working remotely leading to weaker connections between people, and possibly fewer friendships? Or should that be irrelevant to making friends?

Related questions: How does your personal life influence your work life? How has remote work changed your workplace culture? What makes a friendship? How do you make friends as an adult?

Solo Or Team?

Are you more likely to do something as part of a team, or do you like to go it alone?

Share why if you wish.

Solo Or Team?

When Have You Felt Like A Stranger In A Strange Land?

You can feel out of place when you are halfway around the world, or right next door. Have you felt like a stranger in a strange land? When?

If you take a trip to someplace you have never been, you might feel like an outsider. Particularly if everyone around you speaks a foreign language, or you are far from home.

However, it is also possible to feel like a stranger at a party where you don’t know anyone. Maybe everyone else seems to know each other, or have something in common. If you are not in a particularly outgoing mood, it might be very isolating.

“Speaking a foreign language” may not refer to English, or French, or Japanese. If you are the only single person in a room of married people with children, you might well feel like you don’t understand what anyone is talking about. Or a book person in a room full of jocks, or a plumber in a room full of computer programmers, and so on.

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’

Of course, being a stranger isn’t always bad. On a vacation to a new destination, you might find some natural beauty that you love. New places might bring new architecture, new art, new experiences.

Similarly, at the party full of strangers you may meet a new best friend. Or at the very least, you may have an interesting conversation about something you don’t know much about or haven’t heard of. Trying new things can bring about positive change.

Of course, it might not. And even if it does, that doesn’t change the level of discomfort you feel when you are surrounded by the unfamiliar.

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Have you ever felt like a stranger in a strange land?

Related questions: What do you like about travel? Why do we feel the need to belong? What is uncomfortable but rewarding? When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?

Celebrity Or Anonymity?

People often dream about being famous, but celebrities tend to lose their privacy. Would you prefer celebrity or anonymity?

Share why if you wish.

Celebrity Or Anonymity?