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Is social media giving Users a false sense of security?

social media twitterHave you ever noticed the level of composure, whit, humor or even cruelty one can appear to have in their social network and not have in their daily life? I have a theory that the time individuals have been spending to compose themselves online is translating well into their daily lives (as it relates to whit, humor and concise statements), but on the contrary I’m seeing a trend of individuals who are much more cruel online than they would ever be face to face.

It’s much like the rage and false sense of security one may feel in their car after being cut off by another driver.

Driver: “What the $#&@!? Watch where you’re going $@%$*!@#.”

All the while knowing:

  1. You have the windows rolled up so they can’t hear you anyway.

OR

2.  The windows are rolled down, but you can drive off and never see them again, so who cares.

Let’s take this same scenario, but remove the 2 tons of metal that surround you and place you in a busy grocery store. You’re pushing your cart to the checkout line and you reach the line at the exact moment someone else does . . .

More often than not:

  1. You’ll notice yourself and the other person stop and take a moment to acknowledge the situation.
  2. Make eye contact and either verbally or non-verbally tell the other person to go ahead.
  3. Acknowledge the agreement and queue up appropriately.
  4. Wait in line with no further confrontation.

The more degrees of separation placed between individuals, the more thoughtless our comments become. I think of the fast pace and often isolated life of social media often acts as a security blanket much like that of the amount of steel that protects us from road rage on a busy highway.

My question is, do you think this thoughtless cruelty and complaining seen in social media will eventually make its way into our daily lives like our whit and humor has? Or will the confrontation of another human being always slow our responses down before we make our rash statements?

Food for thought.