I saw this video this morning and had to comment.
Social media has become this world where we are virtually attending our high school reunions, except on a much grander scale. Yet instead of just one night where we create an illusion to “in your face” to all who scoffed at us or treated us bad in high school, we have every day. We get to filter what people see and to a large extent, what they think. Our “profile page” on any available media, becomes this perfect view of who we are and perhaps, more than anything else, it is a sad reflection on our own opinion of ourselves. We can’t allow ourselves to just be us, we have to present what we think will make others “like” us.
Ahh those elusive “likes” that prove to the world that we have worth.
And then of course the 50 million social media experts who will tell you sneaky ways to get more likes, that have nothing to do with being honest, or improving any business you are trying to promote. The business (or you) is irrelevant – all hail being “like”ed.
Those perfect pictures, life lived to the fullest, beautiful people everywhere, everything is a success, happy happy happy. Dozens of people egging you on, cheering, some standing on their chairs clapping … all of them like trained seals .. hoping if they clap for you it will accomplish 2 things … that everyone will think they are “like”ing your activity because that is their life too and the most important one … that you will “like” them in return.
If it was sincere, you would find random things that people with almost no followers at times getting a hit out of the ball park. We all say or do something brilliant at some time … but no … the popular get more
sheep people and it goes on and on.
But the saddest part of this video is not that people do this, it is that as soon as you are honest, or you might actually NEED someone, or God forbid you say something that everyone does not agree with … you are muted in some way. We are CHOOSING to connect with one another at the most superficial, fake level possible. We want picture perfect lives that will cause others to envy us so that we can sit alone in our normal lives and feel completely alone because we can never have a real relationship and risk someone finding out the truth. We are CHOOSING to isolate ourselves and be miserable.
Life is not perfect. So what.
People are not perfect. So what.
Relationships are a two way street. Sometimes you have to give and sometimes you receive.
The packaging of life is irrelevant on any meaningful scale.
Being popular is not listed in any religious text or worthy life pursuit as the key to anything other than the delusion that you are better than someone else. Popular is in this moment, in this arena . . . it does not carry over to another arena. Think about it. You may have been wildly popular in high school. When you got into University did anyone care or even know about it? Life is the same way. Screen shots of your update with 1000 “likes” is not a practical way of dealing with the loneliness of having no-one in your life in your twilight years.
The best friend you can have would never blindly “like” everything you say and clap over the fact you had sushi for dinner.
It is in the tough strokes of life that we often make the most meaningful connections and form lasting relationships. It is in being willing to see and react to the pain of others that we discover our own hearts and our capacity for love.
You can blame Facebook, Google .. any of them for the state we are in but we are the consumers. They provided a tool and we are the ones using it. Just as easily as we have used it to create this surface, ridiculously empty illusion of connection, we could use it to bring into our lives more purpose, deeper understanding, and greater friends.
You just have to stop.
Decide what kind of person you want to be and represent that. Be real. We are all just real people, flawed and broken, healed and dynamic. Our super powers are not in being the most beautiful, or having the most expensive house, or traveling and eating incredible food … our super powers in our ability to love ourselves, and one another. You cannot have one without the other. So start with yourself.
Make your connections mean something more than just a number that tells you each day your lies are “like”ed.