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How Social Media is making us ANTISOCIAL

The average person spends close to 3 hours daily on their smartphone. About 22% of individuals check their phones every few minutes while about 51% look at it a few times within an hour. It is very clear that we've become addicted to our phones and social media over the years. This addiction hasn't left us indifferent. In fact, it is rapidly destroying the values and manners we've developed while growing up.

According to a survey done by the dating site,, a whooping 88% of males reported breaking up via text message; 18% of the women did so too. It's not comforting to see such numbers. This is an example of antisocial behavior. You would think that social media will make us more social, but does it? If someone wishes you "Happy birthday" in person, how would you respond? If someone tells you "Thank you" in person, how would you respond? If someone greets you and says: "How are you doing?", how would you respond? A well-mannered person will probably say: "Thank you", "You're welcome" and "I'm doing well thanks and you?" respectively to the aforementioned scenarios. Consider these same scenarios on social media, how do you respond to them? Do you often respond appropriately?

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I once watched an interesting TikTok video of this guy who I'll call John for simplicity. He was complaining about a friend of his who I'll call James. It was James' birthday and as people commonly do these days, he posted pictures of himself on social media. John wished him happy birthday in the comments which James reacted to with a Like. Later on, other people also commented their birthday wishes to which James reacted to. In addition, he replied to their comments with a happy tone that John began to wonder why he didn't get such a reply. He went ahead to ask James what's going on; why he only liked his comment and yet he liked and replied to other people's comments. What do you think? Do you think John is being petty in complaining? Do you think he should've just let it slide?? Or Do you think he has a good reason to complain?

Let's get one thing straight. The fact that many people do something or that it's common doesn't necessarily mean it's right. Some people think that John didn't have to complain; after all it's something normal; it happens all the time on social media. At least he liked the comment didn't he.

Well consider this: What if John wished James happy birthday in person? Will he have just liked the wish or what? The polite response is to say thank you. Even if that person is a stranger. If someone takes their time to wish you happy birthday or to give you a complement, you should say thank you. It shows that you value what was said. It communicates politeness and respect. We owe each other love and this is one way of showing that.

The above scenario is just one of the several ways that we often show poor manners on social media. Social media has given us the leeway to have poor manners; to be impolite and we consider it normal. Consider this scenario: Is it impolite to leave a WhatsApp group without informing the admin? I once asked this question and most of the responses I got were that it's not impolite. Some of the reasons being that if you weren't personally invited by the admin then it doesn't really matter. Others say it depends on how close you are to the admin. That sounds reasonable but what if you were invited to someone's house, will you just leave without saying goodbye? You always have the choice to leave. It doesn't hurt to inform the person. You won't be stopped if you do. It's all about good manners.

How would you feel if your partner breaks up with you via text message? As mentioned earlier, it is a common practice these days. It's okay to end a relationship with someone but the manner in which it is done matters a lot. There is a respectful and mature way of ending a relationship. You should be considerate of the feelings of your partner. Don't break up via text just because it's convenient. It is disrespectful, inconsiderate and insensitive. We ought to be aware of the consequences of our actions. Breaking up via text is taking the easy way out and it's immature. The least you can do for someone you've been in a relationship with is to go the extra mile to talk to the person face to face. It shows that you value the person. Breaking up doesn't have to make you enemies. It just means that you two aren't a good fit.

Another common and more serious one is ignoring someone or "ghosting" as it is commonly known. We can't be mature enough to say what we want. No one is having a gun to your head; no one is forcing you to have a conversation. It's your choice to do so, but do it the right way. Ghosting is immature, inconsiderate and outright disrespectful.

Rather than ghosting, politely tell the person that you're not willing to have this conversation. For instance: "Please I'll prefer to talk about this later if you don't mind". Simply say that you're not comfortable answering a specific question. Say something like: "I'm sorry but I'm not comfortable answering this question". It's your choice! Now it's up to the other person to respect your choice. If not then you'll have to ignore them and ghost them if necessary. If they keep persisting then you can block them.

Ghosting usually also happens in relationships. People ghost their partners when they're no longer willing to continue a relationship. That's outright wrong. Ghosting means that you're a coward; you're scared of handling a difficult conversation. The mature thing to do is to have a conversation with the person. Preferably in person. To those who have been ghosted, it's really an awful feeling. It leaves you wondering what you've done wrong. It's not a pleasant position to be in trust me. If someone ghosts you, please don't put the blame on yourself. It just shows the kind of person you were dealing with. You deserve more than that.

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Take note that it's important to give someone the benefit of the doubt. If you don't get a response, don't immediately jump to conclusions. Take time to first ask what's going on. For instance; "I got to you a couple of times now but I haven't heard back. I hope everything is alright?". If you still don't hear back then something could be wrong or you've been ghosted. Either way, it's time to let it go and move on.

Before you ignore or ghost someone, ask yourself this question: "If I was the one on the receiving end of things, how will I feel about this?"... That should put things in perspective and hopefully stop you from doing it. Let's not allow social media to destroy our good manners. We ought to treat others with respect. Don't just do something because others are doing it. Be different.

Thanks for reading and we hope you were inspired to make a difference. To treat others right. What do you think about all these points? Is there a scenario in which ghosting is necessary? Please do share your thoughts in the comments. We believe you have a lot to contribute to our community. As usual the discussion continues on social media. Don't forget to Subscribe to our blog for more enriching content. We’ve selected a few articles for you to enjoy next. Until next time, BESTech remains your BEST Bet.

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