In the time of my generation there has been leaps and bounds in the ways we connect. I can remember (barely) when we first got email and internet at my house. Gone were the days of mail being the primary form of communication for us!
Moving forward, I remember when I getting started on Facebook, Twitter, and Instragram–I felt pretty cool! Being connected to family, friends, celebrities, and news outlets has its perks; you always feel right at the front of everything and everyone’s business. But with this great power has come a dark side that I have seen, experienced, and have been guilty of falling into.
The internet gives us a sense of anonymity that makes us feel just a little more courageous in what we say or the freedom to “reinvent” ourselves into the people we want to be. Sometimes, we are brash and blunt saying what we feel and refusing to take it back. Other times, we’re socialites looking forward to meeting new people. Sadly, these personas are not always the truest to us.
I admit this.
When it comes to “real life” I am far from shy and socially awkward, even though I feel like it sometimes. I am capable of making friends almost anywhere and I do it genuinely!
But online is a whole different story. I feel like there I am anything but myself, and I do not understand how to communicate. Or should I feel that way?
I think I am still stuck somewhere the United States Postal Service and Instant Messenger. Being raised to say what I mean to say, I assume people do the same.
When a stranger says, “Hi my name is Bleh Bleh and I love music, sports, and meeting new people”, I assume they mean it. Or when I meet someone and we exchange facebooks, numbers, or emails then I try to contact them and there is no response except one word, I get frustrated. Can someone please explain this to me? Why would you say that you “like meeting new people”?
I don’t hate being online and connected, but I don’t like the awkward internet ettiquette: what makes people feel like weird and uncool, or makes them act fake.
I believe that looking into someone’s eyes, saying what you mean (even if it’s over text), and treating everyone who crosses your path with genuine human dignity is endlessly better than having hundreds of followers, friends, or likes. A full loaded tumblr, a jammed twitter, blown up Instragrram, and over flowing Facebook doesn’t make you an individual. It doesn’t make you important. Above all, you shouldn’t need those things to feel important either.
The world is a beautiful place full of beautiful people right outside your door. There, we can show what makes us unique. Do not get lost, depressed, sad, or etc because online can be fake. I challenge you to make experiences in life that are worthy of sharing on line!