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Socialize? You Mean Post it to (Insert Social Media Site Name)

Remember when people had to either talk to each other to pass the time in lines, brought games, or read books? Did that used to happen? I was (and still am) a voracious reader – it was nearly impossible for my parents to get me to look up from reading an exciting part of a book. My dad had to guide me around Disney World or Hershey Park, often telling me to avoid walking into various things.

Nowadays, I see parents, kids, and even toddlers using tablets and smartphones to pass the time in lines. Part of me wants to cringe whenever I see toddlers and young children being pacified with these devices, especially if they were crying or throwing a fit. Just this past weekend, a young boy wanted to walk on the edge of a stone bench surrounding a plant landscape element in Downtown Disney. His father yelled at him to come back before bribing him with his smartphone. At the mention of the phone, the little boy ran back and happily took the phone from his dad, becoming engrossed in whatever app he loved.

I recently attended an event with select invited bloggers which encouraged these bloggers to socialize and meet other users, all while sharing the night’s festivities via social media for prizes. I noticed that most of the users seemed more engrossed in posting pictures, messages, and videos of the event versus socializing with one another. Even when people were socializing, mostly they interacted with their guests they brought. The few rare interactions between strangers resulted in compliments or comments about random things. Once those comments had been shared, the conversation lagged until people excused themselves politely to look around the event.

What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments!

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