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Are We Truly Connected?

About harriet_chan

Manunulat, mambabasa, manonood, nanginginain, nangangalaga ng makukulit na aso't pusa, minsan napapaisip...mag-iba kaya ako ng propesyon at maging barker na lang ng jipney? Pakisilip naman: at

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Social media sites like Facebook also make you know more about other people than you ought to! I have friends on my FB account I don’t even know but it feels like you do because you have 50 or so similar friends. People share their pictures indiscriminately on these social media sites that you actually know what they prepared for Christmas or what they wore when they went to Boracay or whatever.

These are things you don’t actually give a damn about but are forced into you! And sometimes, it gets to a point that it feels like you are snooping on people and you actually feel guilty. The funny part is, you can’t get yourself to close your social media account because you think this is the only way you can stay connected to people you care about. And neither will you ‘unfriend’ those people you are totally unrelated to.

One thing I noticed about social media sites is the ‘popularity metre’. It seems that the more friends or followers you have, the more likable a person you are. People with less than 100 friends or followers are generally regarded as bores or snobs. Is this cruel? No, it’s only human nature!

Technology has indeed made everybody’s life a lot easier. Too easy in fact that things like communication are now taken for granted. It’s your friend’s birthday today so you posted a greeting on her status or page. You feel good about yourself because you are one of the first ones to greet her. But did you stop to think that if you weren’t reminded by the social media site that ‘It’s your friend’s birthday today’ and that you should ‘write on her wall’, will you have remembered? Will she be happy that she got 250 people greeting her ‘Happy Birthday’, 200 virtual cards and cakes but only got 3 actual, tangible presents?

Milestones too are shared online mainly. Pregnant? Post it on your wall. First baby boy? Post it on your wall. Promoted? Post it on your wall. Earned your first million? Post it on your wall. Engaged? Divorced? Had an accident? Almost died? Etc. Post it on your wall! Emotions, rants, opinions, everything are posted on pages, blogs and social media walls.

This is how we now communicate or connect with others. This method has also emboldened a lot of people because the internet can shroud a person’s identity so anyone can say anything on the World Wide Web now. You can bully someone, you can abuse your boss, you can commit a cyber crime and you can get away with it! That is how this new mode of communication has empowered us and made it possible for us to stoop down to the lowest possible level!

This present day method of connecting with other people is not all bad, however it is not entirely good. I’m just saying, it’s beneficial to revert to the old ways of communicating once in a while. It’s healthy for your relationship anyway.

The next time your friend is celebrating a birthday, why don’t you greet her personally? It’ll be nice to hand her a card either handmade or store-bought or just meet up and reminisce about the old days.

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  • Michael Vance

    Hi Harriet,
    It may be how we are connected, pre-internet vs. post interent. Your correct when you ask yourself if your as “connected” as you once were prior to texting, FB etc. I know I go through this constantly with my son who is 14. Rather than going out to find someone to play with and/or use ones imagination to develop an activity he and his friends will text each other to see if anyone wants to associate in person. If not they hang out indoors, on their computers in a virtual communty with others from around the world. When I mention to him about associating with friends he tells me is but in a different format. So is he connected? Yes, but not in a way that we may be comfortable or familiar with. here in lies the conflict of the pre and post interent society.

    You mentioned about birthday greetings on FB. It’s ironic as a distant friend had a birthday just yesterday. I would not have known had we not been friends on FB, which definetly allowed us to “connect” and allowed me to wish her birthday greetings. I know it’s nice when people remember my birthday. I received about 30 b’day wishes on mine. Most of those “friends” would not have known it was my b’day had it not been for social media. Last point, tomorrow I’m having lunch with an old friend who I haven’t seen in 25 years. If it weren’t for getting “connected” through social media this lunch would never happened.

    So I would say we are connected, however it depends on how we both define “connected” and how we use it. If we live our lives in front of our computers and never leave the house, I would say we are more cyber friends and lack that personal connection. If we use social media to facilitate face to face gatherings while broadening our knowledge of each other and the world then I believe we are optimizing the “post-internet” world around us and areindeed “connected”. I’m the latter and feel very connected to those and the world around me.

    Best wishes and thanks for the blog
    Mike Vance, USA