Social media, undeniably it brings people together but is this jeopardising how comfortable we are within real-life interactions? In today's society, it is all too common to head into town without even exchanging so much as a simple smile with a stranger, yet on social media, we seem to have no issue directly messaging or commenting on a strangers post.

With the increasing number of technological advancements in the current times, it is becoming easier to live inside our own personal bubble, as even simple opportunities which allowed basic interaction with a stranger are being removed. For example, the majority of supermarkets offer self-service checkouts - however, this means that the simple exchange of a “Good Morning” with a cashier is removed and this is further normalising lack of social interaction. I feel that the more we normalise this lack of social interaction, the more we have to accept that community will never exist in the way it once did. Not too long ago, walking down the road would invite several conversations with passers-by, however now often just a smile is met with a look of confusion as we are simply not used to this interaction with strangers 

I make a conscious effort to acknowledge passers-by when I am in public and I get a genuine joy when my efforts are warmly reciprocated. Just recently I walked down the road and smiled at an elderly woman who then stopped in her tracks to compliment my smile and tell her I made her day. She proceeded to hug me and tell me that she often feels intimidated and somewhat scared when walking alongside younger people however I had made her feel less nervous. This demonstrates how something as simple as a smile can have a dramatic impact on others, if you won't make this change for yourself why not make it for those like the elderly lady I walked past that day whose mood was brightened by such a simple gesture. 

In the words of Aristotle, “Man is by nature a social animal”. I believe social interaction is a vital factor of happiness and I feel that it is essential that we begin to make more of an effort to introduce it into our daily lives as I believe there is a tragedy in the transformation of society, such that a conversation with a stranger seems abnormal. I feel the only way we can make this change is in real life rather than through the not so social ‘social media’.


Jess Elliott - Tolworth Girls School