My experiment with no social networking was pretty successful. I’ll only list a short amount of the pro’s.
#1. All I had to focus on was the here and now. No splitting my mind everywhere at once in a ball of non-productivity.
With no notifications, pokes, or even the urge to look at a complete gallery of someone’s life, I had more time for the things that mattered. Tons of people have wasted time without the Internet (see: most people before the Internet), but everything is relative, so in comparison to complete non-productivity, real life was more… real and alive. It’s hard to compare web reality to physical reality.
#2. Focus on real friendships/relationships. People seem to be more real in real life, and can’t hide behind editable text.
Real people make mistakes, awkward laughs, and general social syntactical errors in real life. You are upfront with other people and yourself. You can not construct a superior image of yourself. Everything you do is something irreversible, and most often, people know who you are. Your only chance at any kind of redemption with other people is in the hands of other people.
#2.5 Experiences with friends/family was better remembered and felt more surreal/vivid.
In comparison, little lines of text in a little chat box on a screen fails to real life experiences. In this new world, I have at every chance the possibility of talking with somebody whether they are across the room or across the world. But the real magic of life with other people is being with other people. You are friends with someone because you’ve developed a kind of experience, a culture you can rely on to access whenever you’re with them.
The gesture of a handshake; the warmth of a hug; the connection of a kiss; you can’t transmit these kinds of feelings and energies over detached signals and blips.
Real life has always, more or less, been taken for granted. It’s just easier to appreciate it relative to fake life.