How Social Media Gets People to #BeSocial IRL

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Sometimes social media gets a bad rap for closing people off from interacting IRL (in real life). Others say that social media has made relationships even stronger by allowing people to be “friends” even if distance and life have otherwise pulled them apart.
No matter what side of the debate you’re on, there’s no argument that social media has changed the dynamics of relationships.
 Jacqueline Whitmore is the founder and director of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. She believes that social media makes real-life interactions even more important than they were just a decade ago. 
“Face-to-face gatherings are more special now that social media is so prevalent. Everyone loves a good party and people are using social media to send invites and post pictures of their events,” she said. “Getting together in person is a chance to make new friends and renew old friendships.” 
For some, social media actually facilitates real-life connections that wouldn’t happen otherwise. 
“Most of my closest friends don’t live near me anymore, but we’re closer than ever because of group text messaging, Facebook messaging, Instagram posts/comments/TBTs, Snapchat, Twitter, and so on,” said Jessica Gillespie, a social media producer.
“When we can get together in real life, the instances are more meaningful — meeting up for a college football game, going on trips together, weddings, reunions. I think social media just enhances the fun because it makes you feel like you have more time together than you actually do.”
Social media also takes some credit for reconnecting people whose friendships have waned.
“There were many important real-life friends that just drifted away over the years when life took over. I never thought I’d ever see or talk to them again. But then I discovered Facebook and I’m once again as close to them now as I was then,” said Marielena Feliciano Tynan, an attorney. “We’ve even visited each other in person when either one of us visits the other’s state.”
Even when people are together IRL, social media can be in the spotlight.
“I just got together with a couple of college friends yesterday and we spent a couple hours looking at everyone’s Facebook photos. So even IRL we were still plugged in,” said Sharon Kindred, an administrative assistant.

In honor of summer, the season of infinite IRL gatherings like weddings, cookouts and family reunions, cookout leader Chinet® has launched a video campaign about proper party etiquette, what social media interactions would look like in the real world, and more.

Take a look and then let us know what it means to you to #besocial!



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