What Are Some Unconventional Ways to Enjoy a Positive Social Experience Online?
It’s ironic to think that social media may have actually made society more unsociable. There is no denying the benefits of sites like Facebook and Instagram in enhancing networks and interconnectivity, but some would argue that this has come at a price. While internet users are spending more and more time online, physical human interactions are becoming rarer. However, there is another side to this debate. Many internet users would contest that some aspects of the online world actually foster positive social experiences and effects on our modern lifestyle.
Has Social Media Become Unsociable?
According to recent research, the average adult in 2020 spends a whopping three hours per day on social media. There has been a sharp rise since 2018 when the average time spent was just over two hours. This shocking increase in hours spent browsing social media has been assisted by the growing abundance and accessibility of it. Facebook may be the site that kickstarted the social media era, but Mark Zuckerberg’s offering now has to compete with the likes of Instagram (though owned by Facebook), Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and numerous others for users’ attention.
There is a lot of evidence to support the assertion that social media is making people less sociable. A Kaspersky Lab study found that one-third of respondents communicate less on a face-to-face basis because they have replaced this interaction with social apps online. Some more worrying statistics around social media zone in on the feelings of depression associated with negative comments or being unfriended. Indeed, 59 percent of people feel upset after seeing a negative comment about themselves. It has also emerged that 57 percent of social media users have experienced feelings of inferiority towards people whom they perceive to lead better lives than themselves.
However, it is not all doom and gloom. Some participants of these social media studies have been quick to point out the benefits. Many don’t feel as though their relationships are negatively affected by communicating on social media, and for some, it represents a more convenient way to keep in touch.
Live Streaming Has Helped Nurture Positive Interactions
Technology has brought about ways that help increase the number of positive exchanges people experience online. It has even led to more face-to-face interactions – albeit separated by device screens.
Live streaming is the latest technological development to have improved social interactions online, and it is being put to good use in a number of industries. Online casinos have been using the platform for some time, and it is rapidly emerging as one of the favoured ways to enjoy table offerings like roulette and blackjack. There are also more innovative options cropping up, such as Crazy Time. When experiencing these titles, there is face-to-face interaction between the friendly dealers and the players. A similar kind of communication can be done through the game streaming platform, Twitch. Game streamers play their content live and allow their followers to chat and comment on their progress.
Facebook has been improved by live streaming since it introduced Facebook Live in 2017. This swiftly became one of the most popular ways to use the social media platform. In fact, Facebook users have been found to be four times more likely to watch live videos than traditional ones, and these videos encourage more interaction as well. Live videos have given users a new way to watch sports, news, and special events.
There could even be a shift coming in the near future that could see a decline in the use of messenger apps. The video conferencing app, Zoom, has been leading the way with this. It has become a useful way for numerous people to keep in touch online via mass conference calls. The Zoom user figures have been shooting up in 2020, with 12.92 monthly active users in February. This was up 21 percent from the end of the previous year.
Online Communities Have Been Developed Through MMORPGs
There have been some instances in which online activities have helped develop communities of people who would never have had the chance to meet one another in the pre-internet era. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) have led the way in this regard.
One of the first-ever MMORPGs has around 4.88 million players in countries all over the world. Games of this genre enable everyday people to log on to an online universe, create a character, and socialise with other people in one massive virtual sandbox. There have been countless reports of online friendships becoming amazing relationships in the real world as well, highlighting how socialising online can be a force for good.
Now there are myriad MMORPGs to choose from, and similar offerings on mobile known as MMOs. While these may be slightly less immersive than the desktop options, they still allow for online collaboration and socialising. Players have to team up with strangers online and work together in order to reach targets in the games.
Social media and the internet may be having an adverse effect on traditional forms of socialising, but there are solutions online that have brought about new ways to connect. Certain forms of internet entertainment have helped generate positive experiences, and live streaming is allowing for a greater amount of face-to-face interaction. With a range of new experiences becoming available each day, it’ll be interesting to see where social media takes us next.