For better or for worse, technology has dramatically changed the way we socialise. I wanted to look at the benefits and drawbacks of technology on socialising, particularly given what I do as the CEO of The Omyx Club and our aim to bring like-minded gay men together.
We’re less approachable when we’re on our smartphones
We’ve submersed ourselves in our smartphones. Understandably, they are powerful and have some incredible technology. However, it does unfortunately mean that we’re less accessible to the guy next to us in a bar. Generally speaking, people used to go to gay bars and pubs to catch up with existing friends, find dates and hook-ups and/or to meet new friends. Nowadays it is a lot less common for the lone traveler to venture out to a gay bar and expect to meet someone else. Those who do go out alone usually end up on their smartphones, checking emails, seeing who might be close-by on various GPS based apps and scrolling through Facebook. As a result they are more closed off and less approachable to the other people in the bar doing the same thing. So, we’re less likely to strike up a conversation than we used to be.
We can hide behind technology
There have been a huge number of studies carried out on what people feel confident about saying in front of other people comparative to the things they write down on their phone or laptop. The contrast is vast. We have the confidence to say what we want without feeling there are any repercussions to it. Rejection is a lot easier when you don’t know the individual at the other end of the phone and you can simply think of them as a photo and a profile in a database. As a result people can be rude, arrogant and ill-mannered. Remember that there is someone at the other end of the phone reading your message. It’s important that we don’t hide behind the technology we use and instead consider it a vehicle enabling socialising.
We dismiss more readily without giving people a chance
I know that I’ve done this before – I spoke with someone on a dating website once but wasn’t sure because of their profile, so I left it and didn’t bother chatting with them. Six months later I ended up being introduced to them by a mutual friend and we’re now extremely close friends. Don’t dismiss someone based on a bad profile picture or text. We have more options now with technology, when it comes to both dating and socialising. Don’t allow yourself to become close-minded and too picky. You might be rejecting someone who in reality, if you met at a bar, would become your closest friend or even your husband.
We can keep people in the loop more easily
This is, undoubtedly, one of the best things about social media. We can tell everyone we’re close to about our new job, our house move or (perhaps frustratingly) what we ate for breakfast. It’s so easy now to keep in touch with your group of friends through Facebook updates, Tweets and Pinterest Pins. Things that we may have previously never known about are now transferred across the web, quickly and easily. When we have a spare moment waiting for a bus to arrive or nothing else to do on our commute we can scroll through Facebook’s news feed and see all the latest stories. That’s pretty awesome!
We can rekindle lost friendships
People change and we all go through different phases of life. Often when we leave school and head out into the big wide world of work or university life we lose friendships we really valued. They can be rekindled a lot more easily with social networks. We can pick-up where we left off when our lives have settled down and arrange a coffee with old school friends.
We can change our plans last minute
If we’re running late, our train is delayed or we are a little lost then our smartphones can help us out. I know I frequently use Google Maps to find meetings, have to occasionally text friends apologising for running ‘a few minutes late’ and even meet friends on a spur of the moment message when I’m in their part of the city. Without technology we wouldn’t be able to do this. Think back to the time before mobile phones where if you made a plan you had to stick to it and hope you weren’t late! Much easier now.
We can STILL meet-up
A few years ago when smartphones were on the rise there were some people who were convinced that real-life socialising would decline. At The Omyx Club we are convinced that this just isn’t the case. That’s why we put so much focus on the harmony between our online and offline social offerings. The perfect balance of the two is at the heart of what we do. So, if you’re a member of The Omyx Club then make sure you checkout some of the awesome social events we arrange each and every month and come along. We’re extremely friendly and actively introduce new attendees to other members. So, click here to register now.