There is something so wrong with the way we socialize and communicate in our generation. I see this in my every day life and in the daily lives of many others. For example, rather than making time to see other people, I am constantly on my phone, checking my Facebook newsfeed to see how many people cared about my posts or taking pictures for the sake of gaining likes on Instagram.
Social media is an outlet for people to let others know that we are here – that we are interesting people with interesting lives. We work hard to create a mask for ourselves, and our Facebook pages reflect this with all the posts brimming with selected events in our lives so that others can perceive us as awesome individuals. I know this because I am guilty of this. Whenever I decide to make posts on Facebook, I always think about whether or not this will make me look good or bad. We feel good when other people seem interested in what we are doing, the last restaurant we ate at, or the latest party we attended and so much of our energy is focused on building this mask that we neglect our personal growth and socializing with others in real time.
And then there is dating. People spend so much time behind their screens chatting to countless people all at the same time that they don’t really have time to spend time with someone in person. Back in the day, when people had to pick up their phones to make a call, the focus was on one girl, or one guy – it’s a lot harder to chat with 3-4 girls/guys in one night over the phone, but texting makes this a possibility. So there is always a bit of uncertainty with dating. Sometimes, I wonder how many people my date is chatting with, and a sense of doubt will wash over me, making it hard for me to believe what they say.
It’s a double edged sword. Social media has made it a lot easier for people to connect with one another but it comes with a price. It’s like a very tall fence; you can touch and make contact with others from the other side, but it takes a lot more effort to make the climb up to actually BE there on the other side. The advantage of social media is that it provides an avenue for shy guy/girls to approach people – it’s as easy as a poke, or a hi over the internet, but so many interactions are only a fleeting moment. It only requires minimal effort to make an interaction possible, and the interaction can end as abruptly as it started.
There are many days where I feel lonely and I go online to check my statuses just to see who can give me some immediate attention, but even with the responses I receive, I’ve never felt more ignored and empty. It’s a strange thing, but nothing will change anytime soon unless I decide to log off and make more time to see the people I care about.