The rapid growth of social media platforms and their popularization have done great things in the way of connecting us but perhaps little in the way of making us better thinkers. The massive followings garnered by celebrities with nothing profound or moving to say is not difficult to see. The modern deification of technology means that most if not all technological advances are seen as good while refusal to accept them or integrate them into one’s life is seen as stubborn, backward, or primitive. While it is foolish to forgo the efficiency of communication now allowed us, is it not also foolish to use them with the belief that their usage is a sign of individual progress? As if attaching one’s identity to the progress of technology makes one progressive as well.
Much of the social media world is redundant with most differences between platforms happening at the interface and target audience levels. All this aside, if no one has much of anything to say but still speaks what will the communication landscape look like? Does having access to the internet mean that we will access the largest storehouse of human understanding or masturbate to porn? This is the irony of promoting new social media technology under the auspices that it connects us like never before. To say that we are more connected than ever before carries with it the tacit implication, or rather implied truth, that being connected through social media is good and that those connections are equivalent to the ones made in real life. If they are the same then there is no dilemma here, but if they aren’t why are they different and do these differences undermine our original notions of being connected with a layer of superficiality?
The physical realm is not only disappearing in resource exploitation but in human interactivity as well. Without questioning the nature of friendship too greatly could we not find that maybe most of the people we interact with over our media platforms are not necessarily a part of our living life? By living life we mean to say the physical reality we live in, sure their comments may affect us and their presence can be said to be felt through images and videos but these are still virtual manifestations. We have moved from keeping up with the friends we know to befriending people we don’t.
There are no right or wrong answers here, but some time soon sit down alone and run through your social media profiles. Ask yourself why you are friends with someone and then think about what a friend is.