Ryan Carson: Social Media Isn’t a Substitute for Real Community

Social media shouldn’t be a substitute for interaction with, you know, real people around you. One of the good things about social media is you can keep tabs on friends around the world (one of the groups I’m a part of has a 24 hour interaction cycle), but we forget how it’s important to shop local, meet local and have physical interaction.

I’m guilty of it, outside of being in a walkable neighborhood. But I make it a point to have drinks, brunch and other interactions with friends that are local, and explore where I live.

Ryan Carson points this out in a great article:

I believe we have a problem. A lot of the people I know or meet have substituted online community for neighborhood community.

  1. We chat to our ‘friends’ on Facebook but we don’t know the people next door.
  2. We read Tweets from someone we’ve never met, but can’t remember the last time we chatted to the family across the street.
  3. We frantically clear our inbox but fail to sit on our porch so we have can have serendipitous chats with people walking by

Knowing and relying on your physical neighbors is essential to a healthy and happy life.

We’ve all got to choose our local communities and invest in building them. When we die, we won’t wish we had a few more friends on Facebook, but we all will wish we shared a few more laughs with our neighbors over a beer or coffee.

Get out from behind Twitter and Facebook and meet your neighbors, yo.