This is the second part of a blog about a growing trend I have observed. Community is not nearly as easy as it used to be in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Back then it took minimal effort and persuasion to convince people to hang out and get together. More recently I have found that getting a group together to do… well… anything takes so much effort that often results in poor results. What has caused this trend? That’s what this blog serious is trying to answer. Click here to check out part one.
The illusion of Community
Growing up loneliness and boredom had one cure.
Go do something, with someone.
Technology has changed this, giving us a vast array of cheap social imitations. Loneliness can be ‘cured’ by a quick browse of Facebook, stalking that potential significant other’s profile or your friend that moved away. For a moment it makes you feel like you really did interact with them. You don’t have to like anything, comment on anything, send a message. In fact, you don’t have to interact at all with your chosen stalk for the night. They may never know that you got your social fix for the night by browsing their profile, but it doesn’t matter. You got your fill.
In the end you feel like you have been social, and the loneliness is gone for the night.
We do this. I’ve done this.
But at what price? I’ve filled up my social tank with salt water that will ultimately only make me more thirsty. When the day comes that I really need genuine relationship will it be there? I haven’t invested in real relationships so why would people feel inclined to invest in one with me now?
I’ve essentially tasted my food and spit it out. My mind thinks I’ve been feed so the craving is gone, for now. But when it comes back it will be stronger then ever. I could feed and spit out again, but if I continue down this trend I will eventually die from lack of fellowship.
This isn’t to say that all Facebook binges are acts of social bulimia. Sometimes it’s a good relaxer at the end of the day. If your job is rather social you may even feel facebook is the most social interaction that you can handle for the moment. But here is my challenge to you, don’t let Facebook or other social media outlets start filling your need for social interaction.
Next time you are on social media ask yourself if you are trying to drug your loneliness. Then ask yourself if there is any reason you shouldn’t be seeking genuine fellowship via a phone call or face to face interaction instead of a media screen. Be honest with yourself when you know your excuse isn’t good enough.