In today’s society, social media is King. Everybody is online, looking at everyone’s profile’s, pictures, reading the thoughts of another person. Everybody is connected, everybody is searching for like minded souls to connect with. That is how friendships are now formed. Let’s think about that for a minute. Let’s also think about how friendships were made when we were in elementary school, junior high, and high school? When I was growing up there was no internet; well, there was, but the only people allowed to have access to the internet was the U.S. Government, and our military. So, the internet was not in American households. Friendships were formed in the classroom, out on the playground, and in our neighborhoods. When I think about those friendships of the past, I can’t help but wonder one thing, did I actually take the time to find common ground? Did I take the time to find common interests outside of school?
In elementary school, who really thinks about any common interests? Sure, there’s video games, music, and movies, but from what I remember, it never went past that. When I see my son with his friends at school, they are talking about video games and movies. He really doesn’t go outside and play much, he’d rather stay inside with his video games and Netflix. I was outside playing all the time, enteracting with the neighborhood kids. Now, I understand that we all grow into ourselves, and we start to connect the dots as we get older. As I look at the people I considered friends when I was in high school, I realize I had nothing in common with them during that time. Technically speaking, they weren’t even my friends. They were just people who were, there. Why would I surround myself with people who were just there? The answer is simply, I just wanted to fit in, to make friends. There was no connection,there was nothing, just emptiness.
Through out elementary school, and high school I was bullied. I was left out of so many fun things, and it was to the point where the students made fun of me in class, and even threw things at me. The teachers did nothing to stop it. This left a lasting impression on me and it changed me in a lot of ways. When I think about the ways the bullying I endured in addition to the domestic violence I endured, it becomes clear why people turn to social media looking for people who have been through similar experiences. It is also difficult to discribe just how these types of experiences can change a person, but lets just say that it is not for the better.
In a digital world where hashtags ensure your picture, tweet, and even a blog post reach more people. That little hashtag just may connect to someone who is just starting out on their journey, a similar journey, and you remember what it was once like to be where that person is now. That person now, is looking up to you, and through your posts you are motivation, and inspiring them to continue on their journey. You are now encouraging that person, through your posts, to not look back but to continue looking forward. Through your posts, you are leading by example. In these aspects I feel social media is a blessing, and I also believe that through social media a lot of people can not only be encouraged, but also inspired.
Social media is a powerful tool, it connects to more people who have had similar experiences, who have similar goals to yours. In my experience, those similar experiences and those goals that build the strong foundation. Whether you want to build a friendship from there is completely up to you and the other person. Personally, I have formed a couple of strong, and good friendships this way. Social media is now the perfect way to meet like minded people across the world; to spread encouragement, positivity, and inspiration.
I can’t help but wonder, since people do put the majority of who they are out into the world through their social media accounts, is social media taking the place of actual friendships? Please comment below, I’d love to hear your views on this.