Since the new millennium began society has been in a social decline. No matter how you phrase it, people are becoming more attached to their cell phones or computers and less attached to real people. Everyone has a Facebook or a Twitter or whatever, and people spend a lot of time during their day on it. They look at words on a screen than listening to others.
Go out to a restaurant 20 years ago and it is filled with conversations, people chatting about their day, or watching and talking about whatever might be on a television at the bar. Now you go, and it seems that people have lost desire to talk to the people in front of them, choosing instead to be antisocial and look at Facebook, or post pictures of food on Instagram. There is still chatter, but the noise levels sure have dropped.
This also leads to other problems, relationships. Ever since the advent of text messages, breaking up and ending relationships has become less personal. All you need to do is type “We’re done” and press send and that is it. It makes the person on the receiving end feel more like shit, because it is an uncaring way to end a relationship. The same can be done with friendships. You can have a huge fight all through text without ever looking that friend in the eye, without ever hearing their voice. It makes it easy, but also it can hurt a lot more.
This doesn’t help any in Second Life. There are only really two options in SL, text or voice. A majority of people stick just to text. It can make ending relationships just as easy as starting them. I feel that is one reason SL relationships are like supernovas. They explode in a raging fury, but burn out just as fast, with dust and debris left in the wake. Voice can make it more personal, allowing people to connect in a way that text won’t allow. You can hear the passion in a voice, and inflections, the emotion. Text has a way of diluting that, making it bland and uncaring.
People also have a way of making these relationships public more easily. You have Facebook to update relationship statuses on. You can post to twitter about being so in love, then you end the relationship in the same way, sometimes without the other person even knowing it was over. I have a good friend that went through this recently. He was on a break from his BF, but woke to one day find a status from his BF saying the relationship was basically over with. To me that is a cowards way out of a relationship. It is very impersonal, making my friend feel like shit because he thought things were going to be worked out. Though int he end it is for the best. being with someone who posts to Facebook about breaking up isn’t someone you would want to be with.
Society needs to be more social with one another, and less so with their devices and their social media. I find it ironic that it is called Social media, because it is far from being social.