Today social media constitutes a big part in our daily lives. We use various platforms to share our personal experience, find jobs, stay in contact with relatives, as well as make new friendships.
In a short period of time, our society has become more comfortable interacting online than face-to-face, and this include all types of connections.
Not so long ago, interpersonal interaction was prioritized and people were more open to communicate and connect with strangers in public locations. I often hear interesting and captivating stories from older generations about their first meetings that took place in coffee shops, events, parties or various get togethers.
In fact, today it’s more common to hear people talking about how they met on Instagram or Facebook after someone liked their picture or direct messenged them.
This idea of meeting online always fascinated me, because we tend to trust those “new friends” straight away and share our personal life in a short time without any fear.
Becoming “friends” on social media is a fast and easy process. We have more time to think about our answers. No need to be stressed about our current appearance and you have the opportunity to become whatever you want and present the best side of yourself.
I always thought that those online platforms could be beneficial for many, and open doors for people that don’t have enough time to socialize face-to-face or for those who consider themselves shy or introverted.
However, the more people I meet online the more I ask myself: are those people really my friends?
I tend to witness folks who follow each other and support one another on social media but who never interact when they meet in real life. This make me question the transition between virtuality and reality.
Making friendships online doesn’t always reflect a person’s real friends’ circle. I think today, having many followers or many friendships online became more a trend or a competition.
Some scientists explain that having comments or likes is an addiction that helps people to make them feel better and pleased, according to medium.com.
It’s not uncommon to know a person who has thousands of followers and hundreds of friends on social platforms but who struggles to socialize in everyday’s life.
One day, I heard a story of two girls becoming best friends on Instagram. They were not living in the same city and were having different lives.
However, they were sharing their everyday news and calling frequently. But this strong bond was gone, the day they decided to meet. When they saw each other it seemed like the bond disappeared, and they had nothing to say.
This story makes me think of how different online interaction is to real life.
Social media brought lots of benefits. People have the opportunity to connect from different parts of the world, share their stories and present their passion or work, as well as meeting amazing people that we would never have the chance to meet in the streets.
Yet, those connections could sometimes only be possible online.
Talking to someone on social media is different because we can’t form our own opinion about the person. We won’t have the ability to analyze the other person’s body language, voice, style, attitude or personality.
What we see trough the internet is only a facade that can be alternated or deformed. Behind our screens, we have the freedom to be who we want to be, as well as make our everyday life perfect.