Can we take a moment to realise how dependent we are on the Internet? Did you realise how detrimental it can be on your real life?
When was the last time you were on Google?
To look for answers to those questions for instance:
‘Oh I have a leak in my fridge, what should I cook with it? Let’s Google it!’
‘How do we properly install this car seat? Let’s check it out online.’
‘Baby is teething very badly, what natural remedies can I give him?’
While it is undeniably true that Internet eased our life in many ways, it also made us profoundly asocial.
Am I the only one who thinks the word social is unsuited to the terms social media, social networking?
Social media/networking form a world that is apart from the reality. You mostly exchange with people you typically don’t see on your daily life.
I often receive friend requests on Facebook from people I never met in real life. That’s scary by the way. Why on earth would I accept your request when I never ever even run into you in the grocery store? Some people are in a number of friends on Facebook contest. They are very proud of their growing number of Facebook friends; some count more than 1,000 friends. I wonder how they interact. By the time they finished scrolling down their news feed, it must be noon and if they feel like commenting people’s posts, they would disconnect only when it’s time to go to bed. Oh wait a quick post to wish good night before I turn the light.
I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends I met who live in another country than me. We don’t need to post on each other’s page, to comment under our posts every day to see how well they are doing. Internet broke down borders and enables family members living on the opposite part of the globe to see each other and it’s tremendous. Thanks Skype and Facetime!
Okay now you must be asking, what’s the point?
Before I lose you, here is the point.
People are more social online than I real life. I remember a colleague answering me ‘Google is your friend’ to an IT question. The same colleague would be giving advice on an IT forum…
You should feel proud that someone asks you a question and not being annoyed. This means this person knows you have the answer, he trusts you are skilled enough to help him.
But no matter the question, people would expect you to just Google it by yourself. I am not a child who needs to be led by the hand. But sometimes, I like to interact with people so I’d rather ask than doing my own research.
As you may know, we currently live in a foreign country where my husband works.
We really feel lucky to have the opportunity to live in a country that is not ours, with a different culture, way of living and mind-set. We feel blessed as we truly learn so much from the others.
There are however drawbacks too; the main one being the language barrier. Luckily, I met welcoming and very helpful people who would always offer to translate something for me, to take me to places to get what I need.
But yesterday, we received a three pages PDF document on our mums Whatsapp group, all in Spanish – too bad, I studied German! I knew it would take time for me trying to understand. So I asked if someone could quickly tell me what it is about. Here is what one of them answered:
Ooooh Lu! You can use Cambridge free dictionary!
My first reaction was ‘If what you have to say is not better than the silence, then just shut the f**k up!’ Let me allow slightly changing the quote from Confucius to adapt it to the circumstances. He would not be offended I guess…
It would take a Spanish speaking person two minutes to read it and 30 seconds to type what it roughly says. Whereas it would have taken me two hours! I didn’t ask to translate it for me!
It was tactless and rude.
Downloading a dictionary app on your smartphone is the first bullet of your survival checklist. Then comes Waze.
Let’s be supportive to each other, both online and offline. Let’s be social in real life first, let’s not put the cart before the horse, will you? Life is hard enough, we don’t need to shoot ourselves in the foot. And I am sure you’d appreciate a little help, no matter if you were living in a foreign country or not.