Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal

Is Social Media Replacing Physical Touch?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week with working and writing. I’m back to running outside. It’s finally warm enough. I’m being careful because of my back, but so far so good. I sleep better when I exercise and my mood during the day is better. I can tell a difference.

But enough about that. I’m back today to talk about our emotional needs. As I scroll through my feed on Facebook, I find many people posting about their emotional needs on social media. Need an ego boost? Post a selfie. Need prayer warriors? Make a post on social media. Don’t get me wrong I’m okay with asking for support on social media, but I’m concerned.

I’m concerned because what happens when social media becomes the only form of emotional support for people? I mean what if it replaces the hug and the touch on the arm? We as a species need physical touch. I strongly believe that. Did you know hugs and cuddling can ward off depression?

Maybe that’s why so many of our young people are depressed. Maybe they’re turning to social media and not getting the hugs they really need. It doesn’t have to be a hug. It could be a touch or just hearing the affection in the tone of your voice. You can’t get that from social media either. I’m not a therapist or a scientist, but I love to research for my stories and other things that intrigue me. So, I’m drawing a conclusion based on my research and I may be on to something here.

We need face to face interaction. There’s no way around it. We need to hear the inflection in the voices of our loved ones when we walk in the door. We need the physical touch of a stroke on our arm or a hug. Social media can’t replace that, and I feel these things are vital to our health.

We need social gatherings more than ever now and family traditions. Any type of face-to-face contact. Our kids need it so they learn social skills, and we can maintain our mental health. We need to use all five of our senses to keep our brain working properly not just our eyesight. What do you think? Am I on to something here? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Author:

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

18 thoughts on “Is Social Media Replacing Physical Touch?

  1. I feel social media is leading to reduction in physical meetings and conversations. People feel messages allow them to increase efficiency by reducing time to meet and call. Everything has its side effects. You gain some you lose some.

    1. You’re right about that, Arv. There are pros and cons. I love the fact that I’m able to keep in touch with friends that I would’ve lost touch with if it weren’t for social media. But the negative side is that we’re replacing that type of connection with the normal connection we get with family gatherings and social interactions. I feel social media is weakening our connections with our close relationships while allowing us to keep in contact with friends far away. We can have both. We just need to be careful. Thanks for stopping by, Arv. I appreciate your insight. 🙂

  2. I agree with you, Lisa.

    I rely on social media for a lot of human interaction because my spouse is in a couple of high-risk groups for covid. We still have to be so careful about in-person socialization for health reasons.

    But I do dream of the day when I can safely spend a lot more time socializing offline. Someday it will happen!

    1. You bring up a good point that I failed to mention, Lydia. The pandemic has made it almost impossible to get together in person any more. I see its effect on my youngest. He kind of withdrew and did online schooling for a year. He’s coming out of his shell now that he’s back in school among his peers. Thanks for bringing up the pandemic, I did fail to mention that in my post. 🙂

  3. One thing the pandemic thought us is that physical connections are so important for our mental health. You’re bang-on with this post, Lisa! Happy running and don’t forget to stretch, girlfriend!

  4. Totally right.

    As a hopeless social maladjust I do treasure my ability to interact with my fellowman online ~ however, there’s always a flip side, and that flip side gets pretty dark. I mean, “divide and conquer,” right?

    Our need for affectionate human touch has been scientifically documented since it was discovered back in the 1950’s that orphanage babies were literally dying for lack of love…

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ana. I appreciate you bringing that study. I remember the study now that you mention it. I should’ve put that into my post. It would’ve made it stronger. We need physical touch as a species. There’s no doubt about it! 🙂

  5. I find myself sadly nodding in agreement with all you have said.
    Having lost another friend, and realising that the last time we actually saw each other in person was over a year ago, made me even sadder. Oh, we were all caught up on Facebook, and I have voice messages from conversations…. but when last did I get to put my arms around her?

    I am seeing a lot these days that it’s not just the kids that need to learn social skills in order to maintain their mental health. There are just far too many adults in the position of trying to re-learn.
    You are DEFINITELY on to something!

    Thank you for sharing, Lisa ❤

    1. You’re welcome. I agree there are many adults who need to relearn social skills as well. It’s unfortunate that we’ve become so focused on taking pictures for social media that we forget to live our lives. We need to bring back the quilting circle and in person book clubs! Hopefully, we can turn this trend around. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with all of us. I appreciate it.

      1. Count me in for a quilting circle, and a genuine book club! 😉 Around here the ladies have book club, and not a single page is mentioned with their wine :/ I think I’m too old school 😛
        My daughter is always rolling her eyes at me because I so seldom use the camera feature on my phone! I DO think it’s something I need to do a little more often, as a preservation of memories, but hopefully it will be something I’ll eventually achieve in a balanced way 😉

      2. I’m old school as well. My kids are always helping me with my phone. They call me Boomer because I have trouble. I tell you. No respect. LOL!

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