Is your holiday spirit lacking lustre?

As the holiday season approaches, there are parties, get-togethers and social events to attend and share in the festive cheer.

Do you feel like you’re not attending as many social gatherings as you used to?

Bulldog unhappy at party

We think we know why — social media.

Social media allows you to be “social” from the comfort of your own home. There are no holiday clothes to buy and wear. Staying home saves you time and money. And, you can indulge in an adult beverage without worrying about how you will get home. It all makes sense, right?

Not quite.

There is a negative side to having fewer personal interactions.

According to a study by Canada Beyond 150, there has been a rise in social isolation rates among Canadian youth, resulting in public health issues and related challenges in our communities.

Isolation caused by social media is a concern. We are growing accustomed to using emojis to show our feelings.

“The combination of spending less time interacting in person and having superficial interaction online is making us feel isolated,” explains Christine Aylett, data scientist. “Technology will never be able to bring us happiness in the same way as face-to-face interaction.”

Approximately 23 million Canadians use social networks.

• In 2017, Statista.com reported that in Canada, 82% of 18-34-year-olds used Facebook each week, compared to 61% of respondents aged 55+.
• YouTube results were almost identical, with 80% of 18-34-year-olds using it each week.
• Adults 35-54 had similar usage patterns as 18-34-year-olds with regard to Facebook and YouTube.
• Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are also very popular social platforms for the 18-34 demographic.

The bottom line? Attend the party, go to the event, dress up and engage in human interaction. Get social!