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Is social media turning us into idiots?

As I sit here writing this latest blog on my iPhone it’s abundantly clear that social media and the tools we use to convey our short sharp messages and opinions has become a huge part of modern culture, but is that a good thing....or is this just another rant from a middle aged man? There’s a phrase that I often hear when read reports about elite athletes and high performing teams - “we are products of our environment“ which I think is so true. By nature, humans adapt to their surroundings and conform very quickly to what is around them and as the biggest cultural movement in the last 10-15 years, I firmly believe social media is making us conform to its isolated, opinionated and care free agenda and in turn, removing our ability to have genuine physical and respectful communication.

Recently, I have been involved in two challenging 'conversations' with relative strangers, which is what sparked this blog. I won't go into too much detail (I’m not sure our attention spans could cope!) but the overriding theme for both experiences was the lack of any respect for an open, 2-way discussion. Social media seems to have conditioned us to shout the loudest and get our point across regardless. It's because of these types of experiences that I have started changing my approach to dealing with such engagements. By taking ownership of the conversation with a simple "Hi, my name is..." displays an openness to calm the conversation down and begin 2-way interaction. If this doesn't work then I will respectfully walk away as determined individuals can often be very difficult persuade down a different path of thinking!

Social media has removed responsibility for the things we say, people tend to chuck comments and statements around and hide behind their social media accounts, however this now seems to be creeping into everyday physical interactions and I’m not a fan.

Now, don't get me wrong, social media can be a great tool for marketing, promoting, sharing and learning and we will all continue to use it. There are even social media courses at University but it would be great if the balance could be readdressed with courses that promote good physical communication and respect. However, until that happens, I will continue to try and push tough conversations down a calmer path of respect!

Now, i've been in two minds whether or not I should post this blog...but in the spirit of social media...what the hell, it's my point of view and that's all that matters, right?

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