How do you maintain connections in a world that’s so overly, superficially connected that it’s actually completely disconnected? This is an honest question, and one I find myself struggling with regularly. The feeling of loneliness when I pick up my phone is utterly pervasive. I want to reach out to old friends but I know it’s completely pointless. Old friends come with old baggage, old history, old problems… and is a superficial connection really even worth the hassle anymore?
I see people post about their “best friends”. Their “ride or dies”…but how much is truth and how much is fiction? I can’t even tell what’s real and what is fake anymore. Social media is a breeding ground for people to project the life they want when it’s not even close to the life they have. How can you be connected to somebody when you don’t really even know what’s going on in their life because they’re afraid to be honest about their struggles or their successes? “Humble bragging” is shamed and being depressed is celebrated. Happy people are fake and sad people are attention seekers. What happened to the days when we were just…people? Strangers on the internet who found a common interest and decided to strike up an (albeit virtual) friendship? We didn’t base our lives on the likes and reactions our online activity received. Instead, we got on the computer looking for some entertainment during our down time and a kindred soul to play a game or have a random nerdy conversation with. What is so wrong with just being ourselves? Whether we’re happy, sad, excited, angry, depressed, fed-up, hopeful…why can’t we just be true and honest? Why can’t we react truthfully and compassionately to those who try to be honest about who they are, or who they are not? Why does life feel like a video game, and we’re all just characters forced to do what our Players direct us to?
Everybody says the world and people are more connected today than they ever have been before. And, they’re right. But it’s a faulty connection. The wires have gotten crossed and it seems like untangling them would be a near impossible task. I feel like this has been said time and time again, like I’m beating a dead horse. “Get off your phones.” “Pay attention to the people around you.” “Have real conversation and live a real life.” But, during this time of quarantine and forced isolation, when gatherings are frowned upon as selfish and seeing friends and family is increasingly difficult…what are we to do? How do we hold on to our sense of self?
Is anyone really shocked at the lack of community permeating our country right now? I’m not. How can you be mindful of your fellow man, when that fellow man holds differing opinions that you don’t know how to handle because you consistently surround yourself with an echo chamber? How can you give differing views the weight and consideration they deserve when you’re so used to seeing nothing but your own thoughts repeated until…even if they’re inaccurate, you believe them to be fact. It seems like facts and logic mean nothing in this day and age. Which is ironic, considering the technological and scientific advancements of our present day. What happened to the burden of proof being on the person making the claim? What happened to acknowledging the faults in one’s own logic, and being willing and able to grow and expand one’s knowledge when faced with factual evidence, even if it contradicts what you previously believed? Hell, what happened to compromise? To realizing that we don’t all have to agree in order to co-exist and just be kind. It is okay to agree to disagree if nobody is being harmed. What happened to respect?
It seems as if I’ve gone off on a few tangents with this post, but I’m okay with that. After all, it’s all connected. The falsehoods of our social media presence influence the way we act and react to what we see and read, and how we interact with people out in the world on a daily basis. We’re all so focused on maintaining the façade we portray that even we forget who we really are underneath the layers of who everybody else expects us to be. How do we find the truth? How do we find compassion? Where can we locate a middle ground where…maybe not everybody is immediately happy, but where everybody can find happiness, eventually? Moderation is key, in all things. I just wish more people would realize that.
~ Sericane ~
Humans are not meant to be this connected this easily. I think we are meant to forget, move on, learn, not relive it.