Facebook. How many friends do each of us have on Facebook? A few hundred maybe? A couple of thousand? Do we even remember their names, barring a couple of dozen of them? Yes we exchange views, some of us, with like minded people; it is an enjoyable activity no doubt, but how much do we really care for them? We may be fond of a handful, but we have so many 'friends'. There is nothing wrong with having so many 'friends' but I do wish we could call them something else. The word 'friend' being used for persons who do not matter beyond a point, brings a superficiality to the meaning of a friend.
To me, a friend is someone you interact with at a deeper level, someone you click with, someone you care for and who cares for you. That cannot happen with hundreds of virtual people. Yes it may, with a few, friendships and other forms of relationships can be forged over the social media, but not many. Truly. Sadly people gauge their own and others' popularity and smartness by the number of 'friends' they have, by the number of 'likes' they get either for a photograph or a remark! Yes, it is good to share; but how many and who are we sharing with? We become obsessed with numbers, it's another kind of rat race. I know people who are glued to the social media, all their waking hours! I think, that when possible, you should get out there and physically interact. The human voice, the human touch, nothing can replace that!
How much sense does it make for a person to have followers on Twitter -- caring, or pretending to care about what you are eating, drinking, wearing, who you are meeting! It does make sense for a business for which marketing is critical, but for normal people like you and me? Does it matter whether people know what you are doing every moment? Why should they care? Why should you care what they think? Business relationships are very different from personal ones. A good personal relationship is one which goes below the layers, the facades that we wear for the benefit of projecting ourselves in a certain impressive way. A lot of stress is put upon how people think of us, rather than who we genuinely are!
Yes, media do create awareness, they promote a certain kind of business networking, they promote interaction at an intellectual level, but this is what their function should remain. Some people get carried away, and care for what strangers think of them, and get depressed if their expectations are unfulfilled. I do not blame them, today's environment seems to be centred around ego massage and people get swept away by the tide. This is so undesirable! It is psychologically unhealthy and takes away from mental health and spiritual well being. Have you noticed the extent to which people tom tom about themselves, post their two bits worth even if they have nothing relevant to say?
The social media and their tools are so intrusive, your smart phone just does not leave you alone! There are times when you doze off in the car or train on your way to or from work, or you should anyway, especially on a long commute; you should let yourself zone out, keep your mind blank, or let random disconnected thoughts run through your mind; hold a warm hand instead of your device; have soft intimate conversations. This is missing, or has gravely reduced in modern life, which is tragic for human beings. Humans are hard wired to be social creatures-- but in the real not virtual world. Benefits of social media are innumerable, but I cannot shake the feeling that we are sadly losing out somewhere. At some point, that smart phone should go off!