Is Online Social Actually Social?
Social media makes it possible to connect with people all around the world. Hop on Facebook and you can talk with your Aunt Mildred who lives 3,000 miles away like she’s sitting right across the table from you. Get on Instagram and you can share family trip photos with friends from college that you don’t normally have a chance to see. Online social platforms are certainly making it easier to talk with friends and loved ones, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are creating better social experiences or a richer social life. There’s a very real difference to socializing with others online, and some people are critical online socialization for that reason.
Online Interaction isn’t the Same
With the advent of virtual reality growing and increasingly enhanced streaming tools, it’s possible to enjoy higher and higher quality interactions with people around the world, but we still aren’t up to the level of an in-person interaction just yet. There’s something different about talking with someone that’s not actually in the room next to you, which is what you’ll notice lacking in most online social games. That’s not to say that online social tools don’t have a use because they’re highly useful. Just take casinos for instances.
Online Casinos Offer Social Interactions
Online casinos in the early days of the internet were a very one-sided affair that wasn’t all that exciting. You could play virtual games, but you wouldn’t feel connected to anyone while doing so. With modern-day casinos, you can play live dealer games that show off a real person spinning reels and making decisions for you in the game. You can also play a hand of poker against other real people, and talk back and forth with them through text chat as you play. Sure, it’s not the same as sitting across from other people in a heated card match, but it’s much more exciting than playing against a computer, and it offers that social connection that most people want. Digital casinos are nothing uncommon these days and finding one rarely presents a problem, but the challenge is sifting through them and choosing safe sites that deliver what suits your gaming style.
A Social Interaction Involves Connecting with Others
While many people will argue that online interaction isn’t the same as offline interaction, that doesn’t mean it’s not a social experience. Talking with others online, whether through games or various other platforms, still gives you the chance to talk with other people. You’ll be interacting with them, sharing ideas and creating a very real connection with the person. That’s a social interaction. The difference is that online interactions feel different. They are a bit less connected, but that doesn’t make them less enjoyable. Millions of people use social media, social video games, chat rooms and more because they like to feel connected and they enjoy the social interaction that going online offers. It might not be the same as talking in person, but it’s convenient and for many people, online interaction is more than enough to form some lifelong friendships.
Technology is Bridging the Gap
It’s clear that talking in person is still better than talking with someone over the Internet, but as technology improves the differences between the two are becoming more and more minor. Most people have access to a webcam as well as a microphone. That means that video chatting is possible, and that’s very close to talking to someone in person. You can see and hear them while talking, which is a very enjoyable experience for someone looking to socialize. Sure, it’s not as good as talking in person, but it’s pretty darned close. Online socializing is a good tool to form new connections, to enjoy games more and to communicate with friends and family that you normally wouldn’t be able to see.