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Social Media Synthesis: The Blending of Online and Offline

There was a time when there was a dividing line between the online realm and the real world; a veritable 38th parallel separating our Internet personas and our actual reality. In hindsight, that time appears a dystopian landscape, where hash tags and status updates were mysterious jargon confined to the reaches of the World Wide Web, and social media accounts were a novelty as opposed to a necessity.

The coalescing of cyberspace and actuality only further cements the fact that, while in the past, social media outlets were an extension of your personality, they have become an integral aspect of it. Whereas conversation revolving around Facebook or Twitter was previously viewed as a slight social faux pas, it has become a social norm.

It’s a testament to the Internet Age and the stark disparity between ‘the now’ and years gone by, but it also begs the question: has our connectivity hampered our ability to actually connect? When Google is rolling out e-glasses and Apple is thought to have an iWatch in pre-production, are we relying too heavily on social media interaction as opposed to, you know…social interaction?

Where do we begin to redraw that line in the sand that reestablishes social media as a digital addition to our lives rather than the binary manifestation of them? If the current societal pulse is any indication, the fusion of Facebook and other social media platforms with our everyday lives is a trend that will continue to grow.

Whether you view our status update society as enhancing or intrusive, there’s no denying the importance and impact it has on our cultural environment. Social media has reshaped the understanding of traditional reality, and effectively erased the barrier between computer monitors and face to face interaction.

-Carter Breazeale

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