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The rapid and high-tech digital and internet has completely transformed the way we interact and relate to one another. Physical face-to-face communications are quickly being replaced by online social media platforms.

Flashback to the past
Gone are the days where we physically visited and chatted with one another face to face especially if you grew up in Sibu, small town in Sarawak. I remember writing letters and using snail mail to communicate with family and friends living even in the same town.

Focusing on present
It’s almost a virtual world out there as many of our social interactions and catch-ups are online – now we can easily video or voice call with loved ones and friends who are based overseas for studies, work or on extended holidays.

And certainly we will not be forgetting the Apps that make our lives easier – Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp and WeChat and so many technologically advanced applications which are free and easy to use to help us connect and communicate virtually with anyone anywhere in the world.

Fast-forward to the future
Sadly, there is a sad price to pay when we go full on with the digital transformation – many are addicted on social media and shutting out everyone else including their families, colleagues and also society at large. There is no friendly banter or small talk when commuting to and fro school, work or even on holiday spots as many are wearing their headphones and tuning everyone out.

Other disadvantages including wasting time playing virtual games on the internet, cyber bulling, attracting online stalkers and also addiction to the less-savoury website links which have negative impact and influence on us.
Finding a healthy balance
If we don’t practice a vigorous online social media etiquette, we will become less active and introverted with have undeveloped physical social skills,

So let us embrace the positive aspects of social media communications – like closing the generation gap with family-friendly Skype sessions and posting social video updates via Facebook and Whats App – while staying away and not falling prey from the negative aspects.

The advent of the digital revolution is inevitable so we have no choice but to embrace it. However, we should not let it control our lifestyle but use it as a social tool to our advantage. We should be able to learn and control how we use this powerful virtual communication tool for the better (not worse) for us.

 

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