There’s no question that technology and social media have noticeably impacted the way we live our day-to-day lives.  We’re constantly posting, tweeting, commenting, liking, and now “reacting” to news, photos, moods, or ideas posted by both people we know and people we don’t know and “follow.”  What does get called into question is this:  Is social media keeping us more connected or disconnected to the world?  My answer:  It’s both.  It’s a dialectic!When we send or accept a friend request, when we follow news and businesses, we’re attempting to stay connected.  We want to know what’s going on in the world, in sports, and stay updated with our friends and interests.  We “follow” because we want to stay involved and be in-the-know about something or someone.  We want to connect.This can also lead us to a decrease in face-to-face interactions.  We can lose our ability to effectively communicate in interpersonal situations: developing and challenging ideas with camaraderie and genuinely talking about our emotions.  The glass screen in front of us provides a barrier, a perceived sense of protection.  When we LOL, do we really LOL?  Do we even crack a smile?  Or do we know in our head that a comment was intended to be funny and typing LOL was the appropriate response?The advancement in technology has increased convenience; I don’t argue that by any means.  We can work, shop, research, and chat with several people at the same time with ease.  As the trend continues, however, therein lies a shift from interpersonal interactions to technologically-assisted interactions.  The image of a dinner table with faces illuminated blue by their phone screens comes to mind, as they giggle to themselves and “like” each others’ posts, posted by the company with whom they sit!  And all they have to do is look up from their screens and offer a genuine laugh to the person sitting right across from them.  Anyone see Disney’s Wall-E?  Yeah… something like that.So how do we manage this shift in communication style, from face-to-face to face-to-screen?  Well… I believe we have to find a middle path.  Use technology to stay connected to those with whom we want to maintain a relationship, while also making the time to stay connected with these people by meeting in-person to further fortify the bonds.  When you’re with people that you care about, put the technology away.  Be right there, right then, in the present moment, whether pleasant or unpleasant.  Make use of the advantages that technology has to offer and keep in touch with loved ones who live far away.  In that same aspect, make use of the advantages that in-person interactions offer, and connect on a deeper level, with them and with yourself.  And maybe make a new friend on the way.