This post is sponsored by Nivea. I don't usually do sponsored posts, but this campaign struck a chord with me as it's an area I'm quite passionate about! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the debate!
To mark their 100th birthday, Nivea are celebrating closeness in modern Britain (inspired by their slogan 'Feel Closer', which my fellow This Morning viewers may recognise!) They are on a mission to capture 'A Million Moments of Closeness' - photos of people getting close to their loved ones (not in that way!) Check their Facebook to see what I'm getting at!
To do this, Nivea are going on the road to various towns up and down the country, where you can get your picture taken with a pal or loved one and pick up some freebies in the process! Check out the 'events' section of their Facebook App to see if they're coming to a town near you. Alternatively, you can upload your moment of closeness to their Facebook page for a chance to win one of their 100 prizes worth£100 each.
As part of this campaign, Nivea commissioned research by Psychologist, Geoffrey Beattie (of Big Brother fame!) to find our how close we are in the modern day. Here's a short clip of Geoffrey and his rather lovely accent explaining the findings:
The research findings all sound rather positive, that we are actually a lot closer as a nation than people think.
I am not sure what age group this research was carried out on, but I have a different idea about the effect hyper-connectivity - in particular Facebook - is having on us and the next generation.
I feel that young people today struggle to communicate in a real-life scenario because so much time is spent on social networking websites - and I am not alone. It is so much easier to Facebook chat than to pick up a phone or meet up and engage in a real life conversation. The need for literal closeness simply isn't there. The notion of 'friends' is determined in the click of a mouse, rather than having to earn friendship. In my friendship group, nights out in the past - real life moments of fun and closeness - have been interrupted by photo sessions with 'a new profile photo' the sole motivation rather than treasuring a memory a fun night out. As if those afflicted with the Facebook bug experience life as an outsider looking in on their own life. 'How would others perceive this moment right now?' I have a terrible habit of saying hilarious things, and it annoys me when people say, 'OMG Gem, I am literally putting that as my status/in my quotes section!' I guess it's intended as a compliment, but I just feel a bit... 'Why?!' about it all. Must we mould real life moments into merely an entertaining titbit on our virtual profiles? Sort of cheapens it, I suppose.
Now this is all going to seem a bit hypocritical as I have, at the time of typing this, tweeted 9,687 times. I justify this to myself and others as a means of promotion for the blog, but it can still be quite addictive. Moments in life begin to be processed in terms of tweet-worthy and not. But in my defence, I am aware of the narcissism of it, because I have experienced life before the social network boom and after. I think if you 'get' how potentially unhealthy things like Facebook can be, you're probably okay. My worry is for the future generations growing up in a world where much communication and closeness is diluted to merely clicks and pixels. Although social networks are just a novelty for many adults, might they lead to an antisocial network for future generations that don't know any different?
I'm glad Nivea have chosen to capture a million moments of real-life closeness as a part of this campaign, as I think more real-life interaction is probably the key to us all not going completely insane. If I let my kids use social networks at all, I'm definitely going to try and limit it so the boundaries between reality and virtuality don't become blurred... perhaps Facebook Friday... evenings... between 7 and 8pm. Yeah that's enough.
Anyway, what do you think of this? Do you think Social Networks are more positive than negative? Do you have any Facebook addict horror stories? Have I alienated my entire readership because not everyone overthinks these things? Oh, so many questions!