Social media is changing how we connect with others. Study after study is finding that it makes us more self-aware, isolated, and sad. This thing we created for our benefit is messing with our minds.
We can't keep going in this direction. We need to refocus on what makes relationships important and understand how social media has messed up our natural way of connecting, so we can stop it.
Let's explore three truths about relationships that social media has messed up and how we can bring our attention back.
Building Relationships Takes Time
Understanding people is a gradual process. Individuals are intricate, always evolving, and it requires a significant amount of time to truly know someone. Social media, however, doesn't encourage deep connections. It's designed for brief interactions with many people, showcasing only their public personas. We scroll, glance, perhaps like a post, and repeat the cycle.
It's a misconception to believe we can be close friends with a few hundred people. True friendships need time to develop. They are formed through shared memories, experiences, and discoveries, often taking years to establish trust and closeness.
Authenticity in Personal Connections
Establishing meaningful connections isn't feasible on social media. What we perceive as a connection is often just an illusion. Social media hinders closeness by discouraging openness and honesty. Anyone who has shared something deeply personal online can relate to the limited likes and overwhelming silence. Social media popularity demands our most impressive selves, not our true selves.
Social media is not the ideal platform for expressing personal feelings. For that, we rely on close friends, which, as emphasized earlier, is a process that takes time.
Meeting in person is crucial.
Social Media: A Quick Fix for Relationships
Think of social media as fast food for relationships. It's instant and satisfying, but it doesn't fill us up emotionally. Just as we know that eating a variety of foods is essential for a healthy body, having different types of interactions is crucial for strong relationships. If we only communicate online, we miss out on the genuine connection of sitting with someone.
Overindulging in Social Media
Spending too much time on social media can leave us feeling emotionally empty. We need a mix of real-life interactions to complement our online ones.
While social media has its advantages, it has also influenced how we approach relationships. To rediscover the warmth of genuine connection, we should slow down, focus on fewer connections, foster deeper relationships, and strike a balance between our online and face-to-face interactions.