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Τρίτη, 3 Οκτωβρίου, 2023
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionYou Should Get Off Social Media and Find Your “Third Place”

You Should Get Off Social Media and Find Your “Third Place”

By Georgia Rousta,

In sociology, it is known that from a very young age, human beings have some primary agents of socialization. From very early on family takes up the major role of teaching a child how to communicate and socialize (first place). Later on, school and the child’s social groups become part of the equation, and work (second place) comes to fulfill and elevate one’s social skills and behavior while interacting with others. Other than that, though, social outings such as going for drinks or coffee to particular bars and restaurants or even gyms, libraries, shops, and parks add to the so-called “third place of socialization” of a person.

Such are the places where one goes to socialize, have fun, relax, and express themselves when they are not bound by the workplace and are not in the comfort of their home. Frankly, “third places” are extremely important for every individual so as to help them get their minds off their everyday schedule and allow them to feel more like a whole person not in relation to their family and work. The paradox of reality is that even though these places play an important role in a person’s individuality and feeling of self, there seems to be an all the more lowering number of “third places”.

Espresso Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. From the personal archive of the editor, Georgia Rousta

Working, communicating with friends, watching movies, and even shopping. All these are only a sample of the activities we are now able to do at home due to the virtualization of practically every aspect of our lives resulting in the feeling that one does not need to leave their home, as they are able to do nearly everything without lifting a finger (or a leg) from the comfort of their house and the convenience of their computer. That way, people tend to leave their house less often, even in their free time, when they choose to watch a movie on their computer, for example, rather than going to the cinema.

Finding a connection between the prominent feeling of loneliness Gen Z has and the frequency and how majorly they need their phones and laptops — the internet in general to be exact — to complete everyday tasks is not such a difficult association, after all. That way, we have become so accustomed to the detachment of communication being held via the screen of a device that “real” face-to-face interactions seem to not only have lost their importance but also turn into a scary, nerve-activating challenge.

Anxiety, depression, and disassociation of one’s self and identity are only some of the most protruding symptoms of distancing yourself from human interactions, while in the long run, loneliness can even reduce one’s life span. It is an interesting oxymoron how in a society with so strong a social media community the feeling of loneliness is heightened. In retrospect, though, such an antithesis is not so surprising.

Credit: Jan Buchzik. Image source: theatlantic.com

Although social media plays an important role in our lives and helps us interact and get in touch with people very easily, it also gives a counterfeit feeling of human connection and a feeling of belonging. Yes, you do interact with others by liking their pictures and replying to their Instagram stories, but all of it is happening from a distance lacking the warmth and “life” of real one on one communication. That way we do have the impression that we are in fact socializing, and at times we really are, but in reality, the socializing that we need is the one in real life with real human beings. Therefore, what seems best is a conjunction of human interactions both in real life and in the virtual world.

All in all, it is non-negotiable that human interactions through social media are indeed inevitable, even more so in a world where most things can be done virtually. Such a way of connecting could even be approached from a positive way of thinking provided that it is being used intentionally, in moderation, and definitely as an addition to face-to-face connections with people. No real-life human interaction could be compared to and replaced by a connection occurring via a device, however lively this interaction may seem.

  • Why You Need a Third Place (And How to Find One), The Jordan Harbinger Show. jordanharbinger.com. Available here 
  • Do Yourself a Favor and Go Find a ‘Third Place’, theatlantic.com. Available here 



Georgia Rousta
Born in 2003 she grew up in Athens, where she still resides as a university student. She’s studying law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens completing her second year of studies. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, listening to music and hanging out with her friends. She loves nature, animals, especially cats, and walking around the beautiful city center of Athens.