While social media and texting had led to greater convenience and ability to communicate, studies have shown a digital era of loneliness has emerged. Fraternity involvement can help combat this loneliness. You might even be wondering how you can combat your own loneliness.
How does fraternity involvement combat digital era loneliness? There are four main ways that fraternity involvement can combat the loneliness that comes from being inundated with social media:
1. In person-interaction
2. Learning about yourself
3. Learning to work with a team
4. Gaining networking opportunities
With hundreds of millions of users, social media has become extremely prominent in today’s society. Some users see social media as a way to obtain news, information, and inspiration. Others may use social media platforms to interact with others. Read on to understand more about the loneliness associated with the digital era and how joining a fraternity can help.
What is the Digital Loneliness Era?
Between social media and texting, an individual has the ability to comfortably and freely communicate with millions of people each day. While this offering is a gift to many, studies show that this type of communication can induce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
For example, a study from the University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross found that loneliness and overall dissatisfaction in life increased as more time was spent on Facebook (the social media platform of choice for this specific survey). Users in the study found a high amount of engagement and content overwhelming. This caused them to participate less in the digital conversation.
Individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 are primary users for many of the most popular social media platforms. This demographic includes college students, a group that is heavily impacted by social media, and other forms of digital communication.
While millions of college students spend time on social media, fewer are involved in organizations, such as Greek life, on their college campuses. While there are many benefits to digital communication in a college setting, social media may not be able to provide the same social benefits of student involvement.
How Can Involvement in a Fraternity Combat Loneliness?
Below are the three ways that joining a fraternity can help combat loneliness caused by social media.
1. Face-to-Face Interaction
Positive face-to-face interaction is an obvious solution to loneliness, a solution that can easily come from participation in Greek life. Greek organizations, such as fraternities, provide students the opportunity to enhance both their personal and professional skills.
While social media users are on their phones feeling lonely, fraternity members are forming close bonds with their brothers. They are also enhancing their social skills through activities and events. The social setting created by fraternities enhances these skills.
2. Learn About Yourself
You can base your life off of likes and shares on social media, or you can learn about yourself through a fraternity. Through the many learning opportunities presented by a fraternity, members can learn more about their strengths, weaknesses, goals, and knowledge.
Many of these opportunities often mimic real-life scenarios as well, allowing fraternity members a chance to apply the new skills they have learned in the classroom. They will also be provided with opportunities to learn personal skills, whether it be communication or organization, which will assist them on the road ahead.
3. Learning to Work with a Team
The brotherhood setting that a fraternity can provide can also lead to increased exposure to teamwork opportunities. When faced with fundraising goals or sports competitions, a fraternity will quickly learn how its members respond and react to challenges.
Some Greek life platforms, such as GreekXperience, assist in matching students to like-minded fraternities, but diversity is inescapable. Through teamwork, one is provided an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills while also learning from others. Not only do you meet different people within a fraternity, but you learn to understand how they think and work. Being able to apply these skills is vital for success post-college.
4. Gaining Networking Opportunities
Social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn can simplify networking, but fraternities often allow the opportunity to make connections through on-site networking events. While it may seem intimidating to communicate with new faces in person, studies show that face-to-face discussions have a higher chance of becoming lasting, meaningful relationships.
A fraternity membership can also provide access to exclusive networking opportunities. According to the North-American Interfraternity Conference, there are currently over 4.2 million fraternity alumni in the world. Being able to network and interview with your fellow brothers is a huge benefit over the course of an individual’s life.
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