Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Please "LIKE" me!
It goes something like...
"I posted this silly thing on facebook and got a zillion likes, but then posted something really important, or risked vulnerability, and almost nobody responded!"
If I told my dad, before his passing, that as an adult I spent even one minute going to a website to see how many people commented on my post, or clicked 'like', and to top that off, derived even one iota of emotional support or self worth from such activity, I am pretty sure he would feel like he failed in raising me and may have attempted to beat such childishness out of me (and rightly so).
Now I know that we live in a different world today, but as I have thought about this there are tons of other practical reasons why none of us should put too much stock in how much facebook feedback we do or do not receive.
Here are a few...
1. No matter how much time you have on your hands it is impossible to keep up with all that happens on social media. I have 1865 friends on facebook and yet not a week goes by without someone asking if I saw 'their post'. This is almost the same as someone, who learns that I am from Canada, asking me if I know the Canadian they met when they were 11 years old on vacation in Florida. The chances of someone even seeing our posts are minuscule at best...and that is ok!
2. There is absolutely no way to know what someone means or who they are addressing in each and every post (if they are addressing anyone at all). Five to ten years ago all the talk was how confusing text messages and email were because you could not see the non-verbals or hear inflection and tone, and so important conversations required a phone call or a face to face. Social media is an awesome tool, but it's dangers far outpace texting and email. Not only is the potential for misunderstanding at an all time high, but things build in their destruction when everyone else feeds and fuels the misunderstanding. I believe the number one rule that we should all employ prior to any directed rant is, at the very least, a private message that presupposes a good heart and gives the other person the benefit of the doubt. I think I am a pretty intuitive person most of the time, but I don't get half of what I see on social media, and usually end up looking foolish when I jump to conclusions too quickly.
3. We should all spend our time with things and people that matter! The number one danger I have heard about social media for about as long as it has been around is that it creates a false sense of community. We are tricked into thinking that because we have a certain number of friends, get a certain number of comments, or receive a certain number of the all powerful 'likes', that we are popular and even loved. Instead of this false sense of community we would be much better served to foster actual relationships with our friends, family, or even co-workers.
Like I said in the beginning, I have felt this and have been hearing it more and more from close friends. I am going to add links to this blog post on facebook and twitter QUICKLY, for fear that my dad will haunt me or get me word from heaven that anyone who has the kind of time to troll facebook, and cares this much, needs another job to fill so much wasted time!
At the end of the day, the people who look us in the eyes to tell us they love us and help us grow are where we should find more support and meaning than any click of a skyward facing thumb could ever provide!