Social media speaker on 3AW radio

Today I chatted with the lovely Peter Maher on 3AW Melbourne radio in his Drive with Peter Maher show (hoping to put the audio up soon). The topic was whether increasing computer/mobile phone/social media use is merely a way to mask our misery. The topic arose from a great article written by Pico Iver, entitled “The Joy of Quiet”. In it, Iver discusses how the continual enslaught of technology has actually become a burden to many people and they now pay good money to ‘escape’ for a while. As you can imagine, my opinion was quite different.

You can turn off your computer

One of the main points I tried to make during the interview was that it is possible to switch technology off. Yes, there are some who are addicted and use it too much, just like those who are addicted to TV, or dancing, or skating, or drinking, or whatever else. The point is however that yes, technology is easier to access now and much more widely available and it’s also expected more that you’re online, BUT, you can still switch off that computer or phone. Nobody is holding a gun to your head telling you to check Facebook. Ultimately, as with anything in life, it’s all about balance.

It’s not about technology, it’s about relationships

Humans have an innate desire for the most part to connect, to communicate and to build relationships. Social media, or computers, mobiles phones, iPads, whatever your choice of technology is, doesn’t create that, it simply makes it easier to facilitate. So, for me, social media is more about relationships than technology. The technology will always change, but the human instinct to connect will always remain. So, is this continual ‘on-ness’, this continual connectedness, merely a way to mask our misery? No. Misery will exist wherever it’s allowed to. Social media isn’t a place to mask misery, it’s a place to learn, to share, to connect, to laugh, to cry, to be human…. to be ‘social’.

Do you think social media is about hiding your misery?

So what do you think? Do you think social media is about hiding your misery? Is is stripping you of your ability to find peace and quiet in an always connected world, or do you just go and seek your solitude when you need it, as people have always done throughout history?