Social Media Is Not Social

The Loneliness Of Social Media

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Social media is not social. It can stop you from forming real connections with real people. It can trick you into believing that by being active on social media you have an active social life.

Direct contact with a person is personal and will leave you feeling better than most online interactions.

Real human connection is real. It exists. The connections on social media are not so real.

Social Media is Anti-Social

Social media has the ability to turn someone into an unsociable person. Oh, the irony. It should be called anti-social media. While you are social with your online friends the real-life ones don’t get much time. Or when you are out with your real friends you are too busy trying to capture the moment on social media you miss out on the present. You miss out on spending time with real people because your main and only concern is to capture the moment for social media. To show off how great you are, how popular you are.

I used to feel that way. I used to feel a desperation to capture everything on social media. I had to take a photo of everything I did, even something as everyday as eating out for lunch. If I didn’t, would people not thing I was boring? The mystery is much more interesting.

I used to feel the pressure to make my life look interesting by posting about it online. Now I don’t feel the pressure. I don’t use social media. I don’t feel the need to take cute pictures and post them along with a cute post. I enjoy life so much more. I live in the moment and enjoy spending time with friends and family without worrying about how to ‘capture’ the moment.

You miss out on real social interactions when you make social media your social world.

Social Media Is Not The Truth

Social media is a lie. Ok, it might not be a lie. It might be the truth but how do you tell the difference?

It is too easy to be fake. It is to easy to post an appreciation post about your significant other when, in reality, you just had a massive fight or you can’t stand each.

It's too easy to post adventurous photos from a recent trip when the trip was horrible. You didn’t enjoy it all, but as you boasted about it weeks before you had to post something about it to make sure people didn’t think for one second you had a shit time.

You have to keep up appearances at all times.

Social media is a path to create an alternative personality. A version of yourself that is always fun, happy, and light-hearted. That always looks like a million dollars and never has a bad day. Maybe that version is easy to escape to when things get bad and when you get likes and comments from people all over the world; you can feel like the alternative version is you.

You can trick yourself into thinking you are the amazing person you pretend to be on social media. If you can fool all those people liking and commenting on your pictures and stories, you can fool yourself too.

Well, I have a secret to tell you: social media does not make you feel better.

Because when you post something that isn't real, you take something of yourself away. And when you see other people’s posts you believe the lie that they are living the best life ever.

But wait, did you ever stop to think that maybe they are like you too, just pretending. Pretending to be cool and wonderful all the time. Pretending they are pseudo-celebrities.

It is much harder to be real on social media. To be honest and tell the truth because if you did then maybe the facade would crack and everything would shatter and you would have to face the real you and not the fake imposter you recreated on social media.

Social media does not make your life more interesting just by posting something that looks interesting. Social media makes your life dull and meaningless.

It's not real life, you can’t feel real emotions from social media. You can’t have real-life experiences on social media. You can’t have real connections with people on social media that exist solely on social media.

Appreciation Posts Are Selfish

What is the deal with social media appreciation posts?

They are not an act of selfless love, they are selfish.

They say more about the person posting the appreciation than the object of the post.

This is what you are really doing: you are posting about yourself in an indirect way. You are broadcasting to the world how popular you are and how loved you are by posting something about someone else.

Today is the most special person’s birthday. The best friend anyone could ask for. I have known you for 7 years and through those 7 years, we have had the most incredible, beautiful friendship that will last a lifetime. You are the sunshine in my life and the rainbow after the thunderstorm. You are so beautiful inside and out and I cannot believe how lucky I am to call you my best friend.

Sweet.

Or is it?

Why the soppy post to all of the social media. Why not message the person directly? Why not just call the person who you love/miss/care so much about?

Because then NOBODY would see it! And NOBODY would know how beautiful your friendship is.

No that cannot be. You cannot send a lovely, heartfelt message to someone without the world bearing witness. Everyone must know how special you are and how loved you are, and how many amazing friends you have and how amazing your boyfriend is.

The purpose of an overly adjective riddled appreciation post: to make yourself feel special and loved. If you wanted the object of the post to feel loved: why not message them directly or why not call them?! Or why not arrange to meet up with them? Why not write a card to your boyfriend that only he can see? Is that not more special, and genuine and sincere?

Why do you feel the need to spread the news of your love all over the playground?

Ok, I am not a total cynic and I do think that sometimes there are genuine appreciation posts out there. But they happen rarely and infrequently.

If you miss/love someone so much, you would call them. You would make plans to see them. But maybe you don’t miss or love them that much. You just want to look like a type of person that does.

Social Media Makes People Lazy

Social media makes people lazy, it tricks people into believing that if they just post something about someone then they are connecting with them. Or if they like a picture of them or comment on the post then they have a real connection with them.

But you are wrong if you think that. You are not connecting. You are being anti-social: the opposite of connecting. So stop posting on social media. Stop looking at other people’s posts and answer that call. Respond to that text message from the real friend you have neglected. Or even better arrange to meet up in person and have a real conversation. And don’t even think about taking a photo and putting it on social media.

Now there is a novel idea. Just live in the moment. Don’t care about capturing the moment. Only care about living in it. Experiencing the fullness of life. Stop caring about the fake you on Facebook and Instagram because that person does not exist.

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

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