Do we need more face-to-face and less online?

@ symbol in armchair

Too much Facebook browsing at Christmas – and seeing all those “perfect” families and holiday photos – is more likely to make you miserable than festive, research suggests.

At least that’s what the BBC’s website reported today. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen draw particular attention to problems that arise with what the describe as ‘lurking’ on social media sites without connecting to anyone and advise the need to take a break from Facebook et al. It seems that “regular use of social networking such as Facebook can negatively affect your emotional well-being and satisfaction with life.”

Well I’m not sure whether this is true or not. I don’t doubt the researchers thoroughness and it feels like it should be true.

When it comes to training I know that those training interventions that involve a connection between trainer and learner are much more effective than those that don’t. The fact that research into the effectiveness of so-called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) shows a very low level of course completion suggests that the online interactions are far from satisfying. Of course that can be for many reasons than the quality of the human connections but I suspect that it is one of the challenges.

We are, quite simply, social beings. That’s the way we were created.

Today my daughter arrives with us from her home 5 hours drive away. She’ll be here over the Christmas weekend and we will celebrate the birth of Christ and also being with one another. A brilliant opportunity to take a social-media break and also to consider if there are others in our extended network of friends who might not have an opportunity to be with others.

Happy Christmas…