Are you online?
Humans are social animals. It is inevitable. We cannot escape the fact that we need social interaction every once in a while whether you label yourself as introverted or shy.
With the dawn of social media platforms, we enabled ourselves to connect more than we have almost connected before. With just one tap, we can “tap” others through “real-time” messages. These notifications and pings have now represented our connection towards other people. We have become so obsessed with these invisible chains that we forget to discern the reality that we are still in fact distant from each other.
We actually believe that people are just by our side, always within our reach, but they are not. There are people who are not always virtually connected, off the screen, un-pinged and un-notified. Our weakened minds expect a feedback to every request. We disregard the possibility that the other side of the screen is empty. The Internet made our world not only vast but fast. The rapid exchange of information is worsening our social relationships. The idea that online communication is “real-time” is in fact foolish. Those little green icons that show we are “online” while in fact we are not. All these things strengthen our misunderstanding.
We fail to remind ourselves that these links we built are just abstract connections. Connections that we start to value as if these are real; real in a sense that we receive a response to every tap we do. We fail to understand that for us to have genuine connections with other people, we must push beyond the boundaries of the Internet. We must leave our screens and pursue tangible interactions. There is nothing better than personally hearing each other’s voice and seeing each other unfiltered.
Virtually connecting with other people is not a bad thing. It is what initially put us here in this position; it is up to us how we will use these small pieces of virtual information in understanding the people we are connecting to.