Social media is a great tool widely used in today’s society; Instagram let’s us see a snapshot of someone’s life, cheap Snapchat keeps us updated with their day-to-day activities, and Facebook and Twitter lets us see their thoughts. There’s no doubt that we are well connected with our friends, but do we really know them?
I was texting a friend I haven’t seen in quite a while but we didn’t really need an opening or a great update, she knows what I had been up to and vice versa. She’s got a new boyfriend and I’m now on holiday. Great, an easy catch up. There is no problem with knowing someone’s business, especially your friend’s business, but can you really then call it a friendship? She is definitely my friend as nothing has changed, but now all I have is an overview of someone’s life. What do I really know about their current state? Everything is on the surface, there is no push to dig deeper, and why would you when you think you know what’s up? That is the problem.
DM’ing a friend after they post a ‘I feel like shit’ Facebook post asking about their day doesn’t give enough depth. Online you don’t get the words. You don’t get the thoughts and feelings going through their head. Afterall, a message is usually fabricated to create the best response, keep up a good appearance, and is usually kept quite short. This doesn’t mean that it is a fake conversation, but it is the easier option, and I for one am usually satisfied with the first reply back because why would I question them, we’re friends right?
Our problem is our diluted friendships, they’re not fake. but who do we keep up with? We now know so many people, but how do we hold them all equally? Do I personally befriend my hundreds of Facebook friends (thousand[s] for some)? Yes, we make friends online, but we have to remember to keep them in our ‘real’ life as well. I know if I don’t, I don’t feel like the greatest friend. The people we meet on a Wednesday for brunch or a Sunday for dinner are more likely to be the one’s we keep close to our hearts; plus a catch up feels so much better than a ‘miss you babe’ comment.
This week I am making the effort for face to face contact with my friends, I now have daily runs with friends, we go shopping, sit in coffee shops for hours, and we catch up – this is so much more than a like on Instagram or a poke on Facebook. There is no replacement to real quality time. It may be easier to catch up with someone online, but it’s better when plans turn into reality. A short period of physical contact with another human has a much greater affect on us.
We all know social media is great. Like I said earlier, we are able to connect with others and keep up to date with social events, but we must make a point of keeping those heart to hearts on a Friday with your bestest.
Written by Litia Waqa