Social media is great, but sometimes, it kind of sucks. It’s exacerbated YOLO, gotten kids expelled from school, given rise to FOMO, and I’m sure, has ruined a few friendships in its time. This, however, isn’t one of those “to social media or not” posts, but rather, I have a very specific bone to pick with the platforms that be. I am very…frustrated when some people act as though connecting* through social media is an acceptable stand-in for face-to-face contact. While these spaces can certainly supplement a preexisting relationship, reignite an old one, or start once from scratch, you will never have the same connection without the physical person. Yes, of course some people are dull as dirt but having a meal together is definitely different than “liking” a photo they posted of their latte. Social media enables our delusional thinking, solidifying feelings of closeness to relationships that are probably nonexistent or barely there to begin. But how do you tell someone, “Just because I post photos, or update what I ate for breakfast, and you write pithy comments, doesn’t actually make us close.” You can’t, because polite society tells you that you can’t, but if we lived in Seinfeld-world, we’d be airing those grievances! My vote is for more cara a cara contact, even with the people you can’t really stand.
*And by connecting, I mean sometimes leaving passive comments, not commenting at all, or commenting in completely inappropriate places.