Does My Phone Make Me Less Social?

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I can pretty much nip this one in the bud and say it’s to my benefit. I hate calling people because I don’t like to feel imposing like they have to talk to me then and there, but texting and having access to email or social media makes it way easier for me to make plans with people to meet in person.

So no.

One possible exception is that it’s a good way out of conversations that are purely noise to fill dead air. I think this improves my social skills, to enjoy the silence. I wouldn’t exactly call excessive yappers social geniuses. This exposes my introversion, but it’s not an excuse to avoid people outright (or to act like what does or doesn’t come out of my mouth is a disability that makes me oppressed).

There’s a distinction to be made here, between “social life” and “being around other people all the time and always having plans”. If I always made plans to be around other people, I might be in jail by now and that would be a serious problem with my job. I have friends who insist on being around other people all the time and always having plans – ahem – and if I text them instead I can get more gentle reminders of why I should space out how often we get together. Some conversations are just wittier and better had in text, when you have a moment to think of your reply better and there are no distractions to make the direction go askew. Moderation is the key in any of these cases.

People who send thousands of texts a month yet still feel alone and isolated are just doing it wrong. It’s not the phone that’s doing it to them. Maybe their parenting generation belittling them by nagging about everything they’re doing wrong in life before they’ve had a chance to discover that on their own is hindering young people from interacting with their surroundings.

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