I have rendered (after much extra time on my hands and unnecessary overanalyzing) that social networking has essentially just become another way for all of us to feel some underlying acceptance that goes far beyond a click of a ‘like’ button.
He/she gets me. He likes me. She likes me. Isn’t that really the whole gist of it? To be judged and to be “understood”? It all seems to reflect complexities of what is now a pretty dominant evaluation of someone or something. Yet it almost always leans towards deception.
Social networking, specifically, so easily allows us to be or resemble whomever it is we’d like to be perceived as. More often than not, however, we resort to fabricating ourselves to a wide selection of specific traits or recreations as the bigger picture of our online exposés. With such a diverse automat of ultimately fictional characters, it becomes sort of difficult to figure out (or at least have an idea) of who exactly someone is.
Networking on the web was essentially created to connect with others and shed light on some areas of our lives that are willing to be shared, and to then engage on those common interests with those we have friended. With that being said, we seem to overlook that as much as we’d like to think that everyone so deeply cares about what we have to say 20 to 40 times a day, it might be considered a little too far-fetched. You all know exactly what I’m talking about: the endless rants about how great our boyfriends/girlfriends are followed by a hate post, family drama, or just a miscellaneous post defending ones’ values. As if we have to defend ourselves at all.
Social networking or even just surfing the web is rarely ever just used for recreational purposes anymore. It seems rather, to be used to quench some satisfaction with a post holding little to no connotation to us, while desperately hoping the validation of others will still somehow make it valuable. Here’s the catch: No matter how many likes or retweets you may have accumulated, that so-called fulfillment will never be gratifying. Notice how after you’ve pleased the urge, you feel empty. You feel regretful. You still feel like you have something more to prove. Mostly because, no void or easement can be filled with such poignancy. I am no exception; I have found myself guilty of such redundancies. I’ve literally had to demand my conscious to become aware of what it is that I am getting so worked up about, to where I feel almost disgusted at how far I was willing to let the superficialities (that comes with the World Wide Web) take a hold of me.
My path of study and work greatly depends on networks for a high demand of traffic and well, let’s face it, money. However, it has been nothing less than an eye opener at how far we’ve lost ourselves on these manufactured developments. It’s almost as if we’ve become manufactured ourselves. Everything is cued. We have been programmed in similar ways as these mainstream platforms have. We’ve adapted ourselves and our lives to live vicariously through social networking, as opposed to just living; to just being.
I have personally witnessed couples build their entire foundation based solely on credentials connected directly back to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. As far as praising the Internet Gods for allowing babe to post that picture captioned with an in-depth proclamation of his love for her because, HELLO! Let’s get real, she wouldn’t be as sure of what they had together hadn’t he taken that whole minute and 30 seconds to profess his endearment to her and all of her friends.
I know you’re probably thinking that by my investment of time and effort to write about this sort of instantly makes me a hypocrite because by writing about it, I’m ultimately giving it importance.
Well, isn’t it important, though? Social media is definitely prevalent in our everyday lives, so why not discuss how much or how little it impacts society and us. I hate to generalize and perhaps, antagonize something that can also be beautiful if approached for what it actually is and what it was intended for: a place to connect (or re-connect) and mingle, along with other limitless opportunities for social/business/personal stamina. All of my family resides in Italy and Venezuela, and they are still able to be included in the loop of the all frenzies that I share online. I’m able to virtually meet some of my employers, mentors and other writers within the platforms of social networks and talk writer stuff, or gush over a favorite novel. Or, simply just talk — and that’s a damn beautiful thing.
So I’m summoning a challenge. For you, for me, for everyone: To become conscious and aware of anytime you begin to feel undermined or distressed on social media, and to then genuinely ask yourself why — why is this affecting me this way? Why is this so important to me? Is it worth it?
Once you’re able to confide deeply in those questions, you’ll understand your place — your worth.
That you’re not just some profile or gigabyte of memory. You’re not just some girl or guy trying to make a statement. No. You’re far more than that. You are a part of a remarkable species capable of emotions, love, meaning, and life. Our most remarkable attribute, however, is our most dignified ability of just being present.