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Does Social Media Mean The End Of Face-to-Face Interaction?

Pessimistic Babycakes at it again

A London-based photographer, Babycakes Romero, has taken upon himself to document 'the death of real-life conversation'. His black and white photographs eerily shows people glued to their smart phones, not looking at each other. The world and especially the media have taken this to mean that we are shying away from real-life interaction, preferring the comfort of our smart phones and online interactions. But does the growth of smart phone and social media usage really mean the end of face-to-face interaction?

social media interaction
Source: babycakesromero.com
Is that really the reality of our world? Or do these pictures document a biased image of the social media age? Before we panic about the situation and declare the death of face-to-face interaction, we should rationally think about it. Social media has completely revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. Keeping in touch with family and friends has never been easier, even if you were on the other side of the world. Before social media, you would've needed to write letters to keep in touch, but there never seemed to be concerns that letters would one day replace speaking to each other face to face.

Babycakes Romero, in an interview, stated that the inspiration behind taking these photographs was that he "saw how people used it as a social prop, to hide their awkwardness, to fill the silence, but as I continued to observe and document this modern phenomena, I felt that the devices were actually causing the awkwardness and the silence. They basically allow people to withdraw rather than engage." To some extent, this statement can be true, but not all face-to-face interaction is a positive experience. Sometimes, you just want to mind your own business and read your eBook without some creepy old man trying to chat to you on the train. Not everyone fancies small talk with everyone they cross paths with.

social media interaction
Source: babycakesromero.com
At the end of the day, I don't think anything will fully replace face-to-face interaction. There has always been these sort of concerns at the advent of anything form of technology. People were worried that television would replace radio. People were worried that newspapers would replace face-to-face interaction. None of these things have disappeared, they adapted to the changes around them and so will face-to-face interaction. There is still nothing better than having a chat with your friends or family in real life. As far as I know, children are not sitting at dinner tables texting their parents rather than telling about their day face-to-face.

No need to panic, neither smart phones or social media networks are replacing good old real life chats.

Laura is a recent graduate from University of East Anglia in Film and Television Studies, currently interning as a content writer but hoping to one day live off her writing. Follow her @LauraAtSMF.

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Does Social Media Mean The End Of Face-to-Face Interaction? Reviewed by Anonymous on Thursday, October 30, 2014 Rating: 5
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