Social media has swiftly become synonymous with greater connectivity. With an easy click or swipe we are able to connect to hundreds, if not thousands of people, a few of which we have known since primary school and others we’ve at no time even met in person but share enough interests with to have crossed each others virtual pathway. On the exterior we may appear more interconnected than ever before, but this video put together by Shimi Cohen displays to us that when it comes to intercommunication, quantity does not trump quality. More importantly, social media may be the directing reason as to why we are instead more solitary than we have ever been before, check it out:
The video itself was done as a final project for a college, but is the foundation on both the words of Sherry Turkle at a recent Ted Talk called ‘Connected, But Alone,’ and Dr. Yair Amichai-Hamburgers Hebrew essay ‘The Invention of Loneliness.’
There were a number of points made in this video that really stood out as momentous and/or impactful. The first to actually hit was that we are seemingly innate communicative beings yet we live in a cosmos that not only actively promotes but even celebrates personality. Personal achieving that possibly ripples out into one’s immediate family is the basic goal of so many of us and can frequently thrust us to a point where we will either totally neglect or even negatively influence another entirely for our own gain. There are visible exclusions such as team work projects or even formulated team sports, but even within those obvious associated pursuits, specific productivity and statistics are not simply measured but celebrated.
The next concept to really stand out was the reminder of the common thought that time = money and how much we let that rule our everyday life. The more we are constrained and expected both internally and externally to accomplish more and more, the more constrained we are to serve on judgment and value all things that we do. This can usually lead to us putting only certain things in the classification of deserving our full attention, while everything else is expedited as much as possible. This, as the video showed, is where social media steps in as the ultimate expediter of intercommunication, using quantity to dupe us into thinking we not only have a functioning social life but as well that we have a lot of friends. Think about it, how many of your Facebook friends do you in fact stay in close communication with? If you’re fortunate, it’s probably at the maximum 150 of them (again from the video), and of those 150, how many in fact know you for who you actually are?
The outcome: an extensively connected but in fact entirely detached state of humanity.
The hurdle now becomes for us to ensure that we don’t let social media become the only manner of socialization that we not only exercise as well, but also appreciate. We can make use of it for the incredible tool that it is, but only as our truest selves and not as an edited online individuality. It’s time for us to embrace who we really are. Reconnect with one another through discussion and not just through a like or share, and we might just find ourselves a little less isolated.