Despite the advent of technology – or largely due to it – it seems as if the world has transformed into a lonely place. Social media can connect us together 24:7. Every second of our day we hold in our pocket a device that connects us with communities of online friendships…..
……however, something gets lost in the translation with online friendships. The interaction seems so superficial and contrived. The “self” we project is an idealized form. As my mother rightly noted, Facebook seems more like a “brag book” than an alternative mode of communication. Others interact with us through posts and likes that somehow reflect to many a sign of approval. If no one responds you think, “why??” ….
The most disturbing aspect of the social media world ix the collectivist nature of interactions.
Pluralistic ignorance is at an all time high and independent thinking is oftentimes an abhorrent violation of mainstream sensibilities. There is this need for political correctness from the overly-sensitive who perplexingly lack basic social skills and empathy. Like minded folks interact with one another and communicate in a mutual support of shared ideals. An us versus them mentality can arise as we simultaneously reject and rebuke those who have views that disagree with ours.
A convenient case and point might be a few of my husband’s Facebook friends who are staunch conservatives. If I make s comment that contradicts theirs I might be called a snowflake. Much gets lost in the translation as my desire for a discussion through the offering of a divergent viewpoint, turns into something unintended.
I simply have no patience at this point for people are unwilling to take time to see the real me.
They don’t know who you are and interactions take that “social nicety” superficiality that barely scratches the surface of what lies within. I can’t be bothered with the idea that I must respond to the “how are you doing” question with some equivalent of “oh fine”. People perceive others on the other side of the screen in terms of preconceived notions. These preconceived notions have a life all their own.
For instance, if you work with me your understanding of who I am is limited to this context. Then old classmates from high school still remember the girl with cooties who they avoided. Much is lost in the translation as each preconceived notion pales in comparison to the whole and complete me.
It is for these reasons I can’t really get into the whole Facebook thing. I’m not begrudging others for their love of it, or saying Facebook sucks. It’s just that this venue of interaction does not meet my specific needs at this time in life. I’d rather have one or two good friends to hang out with or chat on the phone to “Facebook friendships”…,