We human beings are social animals. We need social interactions and activities to feed our mental wellbeing. Some more than others, but at the end of the day we all feel happy after spending time with the people we care about.
You probably know the feeling of positive energy after having a great time with someone you like. Bumping into someone you know and grabbing a quick cup of coffee together can brighten up your whole day. Something just happens when we connect with one another. Neurotransmitters are released that regulate emotions, stress and anxiety resulting in an overall nice and positive feeling. It’s coded into us. It doesn’t even have to be with someone you’ve known for long – the feeling can just as well appear after having met someone for the very first time.
From quick social contact to careless scrolling
The early days of social media held almost limitless possibility. Social media made it much easier and quicker to communicate with friends and family. A brand new world of social contact that broke down barriers of distance and time not seen since the invention of the telephone. Even the ones half a world away were within reach. You could keep each other updated on what was happening in life, could chat a little, laugh at jokes together. At first we seemed to easily translate the social interaction we have with people to a digital frame without losing much of what fuels our existential need for human contact – being social animals and all. We couldn’t have imagined then, the hidden cost of slowly digitizing an ever greater part of our social lives.
Nowadays it is becoming increasingly clear that the ‘social’ in ‘social media’ does not quite mean what you’d think. Frequent users are far more likely to experience feelings of loneliness and unhappiness from looking at (unrealistic) displays of other people’s lives. Do the creators of those platforms care? Not really. If these networks were ever intended to bring people together socially, it was soon abandoned for a far more profitable model of bringing people together to maximize the monetization potential of user-generated data. They never truly created these platforms for social interaction. They were designed for individuals to continuously scroll through.
Not using social media is almost impossible
Have you found yourself deciding to stop scrolling through those ‘social’ platforms for a while? You are not alone. More and more people decide to steer clear from social media. But while we used to have phone numbers of almost everyone we knew saved in our phones, nowadays we usually reach each other through one of the common social media platforms. And if this is the only way for you to communicate with the people you care about, quitting is not really an option.
What we need is a social platform that is created with users in mind. A platform that understands what ‘social’ means. An online platform that serves as a tool to facilitate offline friendships. Because we need to get in touch in order to find each other and make plans to meet in the real world. We need a platform like LifeBonder, that encourages us to go offline and bond with people. Because social animals are not supposed to stare at a screen by themselves. They should go out, socialize and be filled with positive energy when finally returning home after a fulfilling day, only to do the same again tomorrow.