Is social media messing with our personalities?

The more I participate in conferences, events and public presentations… the more I wonder if social media is messing with our personalities and how far this whole thing is going to go.

Hide_and_seek

This is what makes me have this kind of metaphysical interrogations: 

You are at a conference; the speakers have prepared slick, detailed, sharp speeches backed up by inspirational slides or videos. They have endless knowledge about the topics they are presenting. Through their speeches, they convey their passion and enthusiasm, sometimes their frustration and humor… and of course, to finish off their “show” they will ask the audience if anyone’s got any question…. Nothing… until the MC breaks this uncomfortable silent by proposing questions from the live Twitter feed; and digs out a 140 character jargon/ shortened/ typoed line by some anonymous user name such as sexy_geek123… 
Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing Twitter. I think it is a tool that has great benefits in connecting people and sharing immediate information. It’s timeliness makes it unique touch point in the social media landscape. I am just questioning its use in this particular context when sexy_geek123 is in the room attending the presentation.
Where is sexy_geek123 sitting? And why is he/she just not getting up, introduces him/ herself on the mic and asks his/her question? Anyone can click a button and send a bomb of a question but it takes a bit more guts to stand up and formulate a point in front of an audience. Some personalities are comfortable with that and some aren’t, whereas everyone seems to be standardized behind a user name.

I don’t see myself as conservative and I fully support the fast growth of digital and social media (it is what makes me live after all!). But am I old school in saying that there should be space for digital interaction and space for physical conversation??? Or are we moving to a world where all our communication will happen through devices, codes and electronic data feed???

One thought on “Is social media messing with our personalities?

  1. What we’ve seen Twitter do is make it easier for people who aren’t comfortable with such situation be able to communicate their point of view. There are people who simply will not stand in front of a room full of people and speak. On one hand – I’m like, this is great, it’s breaking down barriers for people to slowly become more comfortable in their opinions. Where I don’t agree is when it’s snarky or anonymous – so many gutless people out there who want to take a stab at someone else just because they can. Double edged sword.

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