As I was scrolling through my personal Facebook page to see pictures of everyone’s New Years Eve celebrations and resolutions, I came across someone’s post that said “My goal for new years is to connect with all of my friends more in person than through Facebook posts and seeing their statuses”
When I read that, it made me think about how people rely so much on social media to let them know how people are doing, or looking up Youtube tutorials to learn how to do something in the comfort of their own home as opposed to going out and meeting people who want to learn the same thing and having actual conversations. I then thought that this is a perfect topic for my blog as it was not only someone’s New Years Resolution, but something that we, your Department of Parks and Recreation, focuses on. We are keepin’ it old school.
I always do some research to see what other articles or topics are out there that relate to what I want to write about. I started off looking up “Benefits of face to face interaction”.. I found a lot of the same studies about why it is good for our health and minds to interact with people face to face rather than digitally. Then I came across this one book that was called “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other” and I thought PERFECT! There was a video from the author, Sherry Turkle, talking about the book and the studies she has done throughout the years. (I will paste the link at the end for you to watch when you have time!)
She starts off by talking about how not too long ago, we were trying to figure out how to keep computers busy, and now, they keep us busy. She said “We are their killer apps”. We are constantly on our phones losing that personal interaction with people. We are on our phones when we are jogging, driving, at dinner, at funerals, at the park with our own kids pushing the swing in one hand and checking email in the other, we act like we can’t be without it.
Being 28, I am very guilty of being on my phone a lot. I also have a 2 year old who I want to give all of my attention to. I don’t want him to tell me to come see something and me have to tell him to hold on because I am looking at something “more important” than what he wants to show me. There are times where I find myself going to reach for my phone while he is playing in the bath and I say to myself, why? Enjoy these moments of him splashing around and pretending to swim – you won’t get these memories back if you aren’t even paying attention to them. Now, I will say though, that I do like having my phone because I can take pictures of him doing anything and always keep those memories, but I try not to use my phone for anything else. It is almost a double edged sword.
While social media has it’s perks by letting you find old friends, share photos from special moments in your life, it is also important to keep it old school and visit with someone to show them pictures, or meet that old friend for coffee to see how they are doing, not just through their messages on Facebook.
That is what we are all about. We want you to be able to come and learn something and interact with different people; the way it used to be. It is important that as we all are Shaping the Future®, that we take the time to shape it the old school way. Go for walks, join a group, make new friends or come out with family to an event, there are so many opportunities for you to get out of the house, behind your phone or computer and interact with each other.
As we begin the new year of 2013, make sure to check out all that we have to offer. We will be posting our Spring and Summer MOSAIC in the coming months that will highlight all of our programs and activities that allow you to interact with new friends and even old friends. I hope everyone has had a great start to their New Year and we look forward to another great year of Shaping the Future® together.
Talk to you soon,
Jennifer Deuterman is the Marketing Manager for the Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703.335.8872 x2143 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Matters is a blog created by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation. The blog features program updates, announcements of new services, special event notices, or information of general interest.