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Let’s make contact!!

September 13, 2013

Can you add me on facebook or twitter? Let’s have some contact!


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I wonder why there is a decline in our contacts. Maybe the answer is very simple and it’s just because there is technology which makes it possible, but that doesn’t explain why people would choose to use it to make contact which isn’t real contact. People seem to have status if they have a lot of friends on facebook or twitter, but facebook and twitter seem to reduce the real contact between people. If we read or type to someone, it’s just indirect contact which can be compared to writing letters a few decades ago. People have some kind of contact, but all kinds of feelings like joy are very hard to share with such kinds of means, because you need to have a physical presence of another person in order to do so. The technology however seems to want to, in order to sell enough and adapt to capitalism, provide in this need. Skype can be used for video-chat and voice-chat and you can see eachother face-to-face. But still you aren’t really present, you know that after all it’s just a screen which you are looking at and talking with and although there is a real person who also makes actions at the other side, the question remains if you could really consider it as contact. I read another blog here on WordPress where a user complained about how Facebook made her life very difficult because of all kinds of ways in which she had to satisfy the other users on Facebook with which she was connected. It just seems to have changed into a thing in order to satisfy our brains, getting a lot of contacts in order to make it feel like you have friends. The fact is that friends won’t be there if you have a lot of contacts on facebook or twitter, there are even people who don’t have and use any social media and have more friends or a small group of better friends, just because they realize that contact always depends on the will to be actually present by another person. If you just click somewhere or type something, you aren’t really showing that you are motivated for a certain contact and you just show how well you are in typing or clicking on a button, but the actual contact isn’t the thing which you are showing. You have to wonder if you can consider a certain person really as a friend if he or she only wants to contact you with social media and doesn’t even want to see you in real life if you ask for it.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There seems to be a demand nevertheless to join into the circle of social-media users and the great network of having-no-real-contacts-but-it’s-good-for-my-business. The reason why we all switch to social media is probably because it’s the easiest way to know something of other people if you need to know something and because it’s a very easy way which won’t cost you a lot of money at all for your business if you want to contact other people. It’s also the reason WHY people make big networks on facebook and twitter, because their job chances increase and their chances of surviving increase in this way. Contacts are very important nowadays in our jobs and schools and that’s why people tend to use the easiest way to make it, but we have to differentiate different kinds of contact.

What kind of contact is there?

One of the first and most important kinds of contacts is the real face-to-face contact which is used by primitive tribes, people who want to show love to eachother, in a family and other contacts where intimacy seems to be really important.

Another contact is the indirect contact which can itself be subdivided in the indirect contact which is written, the one which is spoken and the one which can be seen. Those can also be combined. The written one was the first one, which already existed for some centurys in writing letters to eachother, the spoken one was created when phones were invented and the last one where we can see eachother seems to be there since we can use modern technology.

The first one seems to be the most important one, not only because it shows a real sense of empathy, but also because some of the definitions of contact are:


the act or state of touching; a touching or meeting, as of twothings or people.


immediate proximity or association.
The first one can definitely only be accomplished if you are both really present and be able to show love by hugging eachother or kissing. The second one also seems to be only accomplished if we are really present in a certain place, because although social media might give the illusion to be real contact, it isn’t really proximity because we can be miles away in our contact with eachother.
Popularity is very important and is actually the same thing as our status. One reason why we all use social media might be because celebrities do the same. If we watch a talk show or just some other shows we will very often see the possibility to follow the show on Facebook or Twitter, which is a way to make it more popular and available at any time, it’s very easy to send a tweet and when it’s known among everyone it’s also very easy to get new followers, which is the reason why it’s used. It might also be the reason why a lot of unknown people use social media like Twitter and Facebook, in order to become known and get status, but we might wonder if they actually get some real contact in that way. Being popular can have as a consequence that all our contacts are just superficial contacts and we don’t really achieve any happiness, because there is just a number of people following another person, but that doesn’t tell us anything about their relationship.
One consequence of social media which needs to be solved is the loneliness of a lot of people in our society, because it takes away the possibility to really see one another and in that way it blocks our possibility to be a society in which empathy is the most important value.
Just turn it off for one day
However it seems that because of jobs, to create events and because of status the social media became very important, we have to question if it is really what we want. Maybe it would be better if we would all turn off Twitter or Facebook for one day and just come out of our houses and visit eachother and show in that way that it doesn’t matter how many Facebook friends we have, we are all present in the same place and we can really feel that we are there and that we aren’t just some text on a screen.
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