Tuesday, January 7

On Social Media

I like social media. I know a lot of people don't, but I do.
Part of the reason why I enjoy my Internet time so much is probably because I'm really not good at actual one-on-one human interaction. I'm getting better at faking it, but mostly, it's uncomfortable for me. (Excepting of course certain exceptions that are being excepted)
I'm always saying the wrong thing, or saying too much, or saying too little, or being in the wrong mood, or falling asleep, or thinking about pizza (really avoid that one if you can - drooling while someone's talking about school looks odd) - the list goes on.
And when I'm on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or what have you, almost all of that is eliminated. (I still think about pizza, but nobody cares.) If I'm in a mood to say nothing, I say nothing. If I'm in a mood to talk on and on, I can talk as long as I want.
I know it sounds bad - Meredith doesn't know how to interact with humanity so she sits on the Internet all the time thinking about pizza.
But I promise, I'm not that kind of Tumblr user.
I don't avoid interacting with other people, and there are lots of times that I find it to be both enjoyable and fulfilling. I know that if I don't make an effort to talk to people one-on-one, I may get even worse at people-ing, so I don't scream and run away when someone says hi. Social media is just so much easier. It's like the difference between a live television broadcast and a pre-recorded one. In face-to-face interaction, there are no take-backsies, no do-overs, no begin-agains. If you make a mistake, you actually have to apologize for it. There's a lot of difficulty and awkwardness involved that simply isn't present in social media (Unless you're like me and you intentionally cause awkward situations with your friends because you think it's funny).
So is social media and all our advanced phone technology antiquating legit human interaction? I think maybe it'll try. After all, you can get pretty close to it with Skype and FaceTime, and a lot of social media sites are pretty in the moment. The gap between face-to-face and Facebook-to-Facebook is getting smaller.
But I don't think it will ever be totally the same. Even if I feel awkward with other people, I still like people in general (I don't know if they like me, but nonetheless). If I don't have that interaction in real life, I get depressed (maybe that's why so many people struggle with depression). We naturally have a desire for companionship that social media won't satisfy. We can manipulate it, we can invent new technologies, but they will never bring happiness (except maybe the new iPhone - it's pretty epic).
We're not meant to be alone. People are cool - PLUS sometimes they smell wonderful and give warm hugs.
So use your social media. Be addicted to it for all I care. But don't forget the real world. No matter how much you say you have no life (my Instagram username is meredithhasnolife, okay? I know I'm not the only one.) you DO have a life, and until you die, you're stuck with it. So make the most of it.

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