Social networks, but anti-social people

Drawing by Adrian Serghie

   Have you noticed that lately there are more and more interactions on social networks, but less and less in real life? How is this possible? There are the same people, right? Apparently not… I think that from behind of a screen, we can create the identity we want and we can twitch that based on identities created by other people, but in real life we are what we are and we can’t hide that.

   I think that most of the time we hide behind of a screen because in this way we have the illusion that we can control our lives. We can choose what we want to let out in “the world” by having time to review and control our output. We can hide our true emotions and no one will ever know what we truly feel about something. We can share our best as normal part of our lives, the same time hiding the negative part. The problem with this is that the others will think there are no negative parts in our lives since they can’t see it, this makes them feel bad and they’ll try to post the best things as well, hiding the negative. This is the opposite of what mass media does. All we see are the negative parts of the world and it’s all presented as the biggest tragedies ever. Since we all have negative parts but we think others don’t have and since we see that tragedies all around the world are so special, we have the false impression that we are the only ones with negative lives. We compare our real selves with the others fake identities and with all the negative parts around this world and this is why we create fake identities on our own so we can be like the others.

   On the internet we can be as tough as we want, as beautiful as we want using filters, we can be as smart as we want and we can also show to be as happy as we want. We are too busy faking this instead of working and learning to get there. People are not used to talk to eachother anymore because they are afraid that the others will see how they truly are… that they are not as tough as they seem on the internet, they are not as beautiful as they show to be, they are not as smart or as happy as they show to be. We are afraid that our real selves are not good enough or interesting enough for the real world, but we never question if the others feel the same because we take their fake identities as being the same with their real ones.

I think we’re getting better and better at faking our lives and worse at living them. How can we change this?

17 thoughts on “Social networks, but anti-social people

  1. Thanks for this post ….. this has been my challenge in recent times as well. I want to be witnessed and my low self esteem (?) requires numbers – even if they are anonymous – rather than the actual, real FEW in my life.

  2. It makes me sick to say this, but I agree with everything you say. We need to accept our reality and stop building a fake one that doesn’t even matter in the end.

  3. Can it be due to the size of the audience our social media can reach? We act differently in public, than when we are with close family or friends. The same probably goes with social media…

  4. I’m not sure you can change this now. I was lucky to grow up before all these tools and social media. Times when you made friends by being with people and talking and interacting with them over long periods of time. I think social media opens some great opportunities. But it also can have a negative side of really not knowing people as well.

    1. The hugging of friends, their chattering by ear, giggling of pranks are undoubtedly precious. True is the negative side of really knowing people, except when there are no people at all, in local proximity with similar likes, especially for the ones rare enough to have born distance apart. On an average scale, this networking is superfluous.

  5. Oh, I was momentarily shocked by idea of ‘anti-social’ criminals, until I realized that you meant unsocial.

    Very relevant post ! A need of the hour.

  6. Social networking has a placebo effect of happiness amidst the chaos published in news media. It is a virtual reality that people wants to live in. What do we prefer – a bitter reality or a sweet dream ? Isn’t it the definition of heaven – peace but after death ? So why not, while we live !

  7. I don’t think we can change since it’s an individual’s choice to make. Unless… All social media platforms are scrapped, which will eventually turn political.

  8. True, true… I can’t disagree with you there.

    I’m not sure if there’s anything we can do to deal with this issue, except probably start from ourselves. We used to have an easier time striking up a conversation with almost anyone in public places, but as real life seems to be getting increasingly dangerous, we seek comfort in social media because it’s… safer. It’s not really but there is almost no physical harm or permanent loss in using social media…

  9. Interesting post. Not long ago, I got off of Twitter, my social media tool of choice. I did so because I felt it was allowing me to say ugly things (mostly of a political nature) to my Trump-loving opponents that I wouldn’t dare say out of my physical mouth. After taking a long hard look at myself, I realized that Twitter was turning me into a very ugly person. So, I agree with you, that anonymity really messes with our heads. You’ve given me some things to think about in this post and I will go back and reread it.

  10. Slightly ironic, as this is technically a social media website, LOL…

    Here’s the deal – if you allow yourself to be vulnerable in a public space, you run the very real risk of being hurt. If someone is afraid of your point of view or your vulnerability, and they can remain basically anonymous, they often will lash out. Your Twitter handle might be your real name, but odds are it’s something you find to be a shield. Even Facebook has names and photos that show nothing of the people behind the screens. That’s before we get to filters, and choices made in “vaguebooking” etc.

    I find the best set up is to minimize my “virtual” interactions. There are people that I wouldn’t have “met” any other way, and we e-mail or follow one another – but we also tend to be fairly open as a group about what it is that concerns us. We listen. We offer support. We may never meet in person, but we do care.

    I’m very uncomfortable with face to face interactions – years of being told so many terrible things. Things that weren’t true. So, when I’m in a new situation, I’m a little more cautious about what I share, and with whom. I’m going to watch and see who is swaggering or over talking others – and I’m walking away from them.

  11. That’s what I love this site. I am exactly as I am; my flawed self, and I don’t try to hide it. Journaling helps me figure out who I actually am but I hide certain aspects of myself on social media. I don’t hide anything here and somehow people still accept me.

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