The critical role played by technology in our lives is undeniable. It has continued to be an integral part of our daily lives even as we move through the digital age. Without a doubt, it has provided us with tremendous tangible and intangible benefits and one of such benefits is the social media.
The social media has truly helped with human interaction by making available a wide range of ways by which we can communicate, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Skype, Instagram, etc. Social media has greatly improved the way we relate to one another. It is an absolutely beautiful help when it comes to reaching out to friends and families. Apart from being our avenue to connect with people and network, it has grown to be the reservoir of information.
As awesome as this communication tool is because of its incredible ability to fulfill the most basic of human need: social connection, it has also come to display an ugly and negative side which undermines the same human relationship it strives to improve. Social is killing empathy. By increasingly taking time away from in-person or face-to-face interactions, social media is slowly creating a situation where people are no longer sensitive to and lacks the ability to understand and share the experiences and emotions of the other person.
In 2011, a survey carried out on the campus of the University of Michigan showed that 3 out of 4 students were 50 percent less empathetic than they were 3 decades ago. Further research showed that the steepest decline in empathy began in 2001 which also happens to be the time when social media was born.
Social media is redefining social currency. Through social media, we are creating a society that is full of individualists. Instead of real interactions and relationships, social media is encouraging us to form shallow relationships that are based on "likes," "share," "selfies," and "retweet." Our society is where meaningful and beneficial social interactions are being replaced by a 5 second or less glance before swiping right or left. Compassion for the needy and help has been reduced to a hashtag. These harmless acts exhibited on social media is causing a terrible decline in empathy.
Social media is ruining our relationships with people because the focus is on the self and not others. It has led to a place where we are now robbing our fellow human beings of true friendship, attention, and humanity. The lack of empathy has greatly affected generosity, and it is now only worth online "buttons" while most acts of kindness or helps have price tags attached to them. But we need a real society where human connections are real and not based on money.
The funny thing about this situation is that the same social media that is largely responsible for the creation of individual who lack empathy is also what is causing an unprecedented need for it. So we must find a way to prevent the decaying and declining of what is one of our most important human attributes. Empathy is a component of our morality and a basic structure upon which a functioning society is founded.
This problem has been going on for a long time with no help in sight, even from the social media giants, which is why we took it upon ourselves to solve it. What we are doing is improving human connection.
How we are solving the crisis
We passionately believe that the answer lies in the creation of a community that is built to support and listen to each other. A community where people can connect on a deeper level.
The goal of Nile is simple. To provide a digital space where people can reconnect with each other and talk about the things that make them happy. We chose to provide a platform where users can have one-to-one dialogue precisely because we want to steer away from the common "many-to-one" platforms that are already out there i.e. one person posts and others comment. Real connections occur through real sincere conversations.
When was the last time you connected and had an awesome conversation with someone? The kind of talk that left you inspired, with a sense of awe. Or maybe you listened to a cool podcast and really wanted to share your fascination with someone else.
We believe every person deserves to be happy, to have someone they can truly connect with and with which they can share their stories, with no judgement, but appreciation and understanding. In a digital world which is increasingly becoming difficult to navigate, we hope we can offer a safe space for freedom of expression.