So it has been about three weeks of no posts here. The first two weeks could be explained by traveling to the north and the other one week was me trying to fit back into the city setting. While I was away I managed to stay connected with my friends via social media especially Instagram. I also enjoyed witnessing my friends’ happy moments through the pictures they post on social network websites.In the entirety of my current life, often I end up relying on social media as a tool to maintain my social life like many people. There is nothing wrong with that, as far as we don’t spend most of our time watching people’s existence through the unreliable lens of the online social network instead of the real thing. But unfortunately that is the case 92.7%of the time ( I have no backing for this statistic).
When do social networks stop being a way of staying connected and become a way of being disconnected making us anti-social? When you are lying in your bed and feeling lonely on a Friday night, and your finger inadvertently starts scrolling news feed on your favourite social media, it is probably time to ask yourself this question. Unconsciously, many of us are living our lives guided by the façade people present to us via this new technology called social media—with Facebook and Instagram being the leaders in the dissemination of the acute falsehood mostly because they are photo-based.
Of course you need to be smart to realize that, “real girls are not perfect and perfect girls are not real”. Therefore, when there is a presentation of that perfect girl on Instagram, just know that, she is not real—you are just seeing ‘Utopian’ illustrations, made easy by social media. Forget the Kim Kardashian perfection, none of these people look exactly as what they present to you online. Even Beyonce has her off days in reality.
Because of the narrowness of this window, we get some very partial information about other people’s lives. Exactly the same problem as with peering through a keyhole: all we see is a small part of the scenery at a certain angle; the keyholes tend to stay still. As result we get confused; we simply lack information about how they really feel (in face-to-face situations, we fill this void by an ongoing unconscious communication). This is where we automatically start projecting, imagining all kind of things that might not be real after all.
Compared to the few decades of internet history, we have been existing as creatures equipped with five senses for far too long to make us evolve that quickly into a species interconnected through some invisible social web. We still need to smell and to touch others, to experience them fully in order to feel actually connected. So now to the real questions. How many of your Facebook “friends”, Instagram and Twitter followers are really the people you stay in touch with on a regularly basis? How many of the emoticons and smileys actually portray your true emotions at the time you were sending them?
So, if instead of scrolling on your friend’s feed and thinking about how he forgot your birthday since his last move to a new country, pick up the phone and call him directly how you feel about this omission. There is nothing more efficient to undo a projection than real contact. Hearing your friend’s voice and laughing together cannot be replaced by an emoticon or a text chat. Not yet.
There is the need to constantly evaluate your life and relationship and take note of the corrections which need to be given effect, but using social media images and stories as your measuring rod is beyond absurd—it’s damaging to your self-esteem and whatever you’ve built offline.So when you feel low, isolated, and lonely (which happens to all of us every now and then), just get off the social network and get out, where the real people in the flesh are. If the whole internet shut down forever I’m sure we’ll panic simply because most of our relationships are in there. But remember as the good book says “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).”