They come and go, sometimes without our even knowing it. The social connections, the tangible next door friend and the stranger a world away who friend in a click and are gone in another. Do people disconnect on a whim or is it for a real reason? What has the ease of Online Social Interaction and Disconnection done to us socially as a society and perhaps even morally?
Thinking about things like this puts a knot in my stomach I can’t get rid of until I sort it out through words. Admittedly when I have someone disappear from my social network of “friends” I don’t always ask why. I know the coming and going is a part of the world and of this modern way of forming connections. But sometimes I do wonder.
On Facebook you must deal with people you’ve allowed into your circle of reality. When those people decide to drop you, then you wonder what happened. There is no explanation and thus the knot in the stomach begins. And dropping is the feeling that one may feel.
“What did I do?”
That’s the question that comes to mind first. For me my online social connections are my lifeline. When I lose one it rattles me somewhat and I dwell a little bit.
For someone like me, when someone, especially a female, decides to no longer be a friend you then wonder that very question above. Then you wonder what has been said. I’m a pretty appropriate guy when it comes to online social communications. Maybe in the past I’ve had moments. You would have to ask that old me. Like the one from a few days ago. That’s about how far some of my memories go.
Those social contacts keep the memory lines open. A lot of people don’t realize it but for some of us we may visit various social platform profiles in a rotation to keep people familiar to us. For a memory problem sufferer it can be important. A disconnect can throw things haywire in a major way, especially for someone who is sensitive and has actual feelings.
What has easy detachment brought about in society?
For one there is a lack of working through a problem. A person now unfollows a person and the argument or discord is over. Or it is as far as the un-follower is concerned.
In the celebrity circles it’s an easy way to get publicity and start a celebrity feud to drive up public interest in yourself. Pick the popular flavor and attack them and people will then take notice of you if you have begun to slip in notoriety. VMA awards anybody?
But for the rest of us it is more than a platform. We may have thousands of “Friends” or “Followers” but we have a lot in the offline world, the online world may at times be like a phonebook of all our old and new friends. Facebook is like that for me.
With the not needing to finish a conversation, or work out a situation, society is slowly becoming less and less able to resolve conflicts to the needed end. They still float around and build up into a frenzy. You can look at society and see how things spread like wildfire but no one ever took the time in the very beginning to try to stop it from happening—they went straight into the fire.
When once we had the chance to think overnight and arrive at some common sense we now have people go off onto Twitter or Facebook and speak emotionally.
I mentioned morality.
The ease of online sharing of EVERYTHING with ANYBODY has brought about many problems, even its own show—Catfish. If you have one person you share something with because of distance, I get that. Some relationships are separated by miles because of many reasons. And I do believe there are cases where online capabilities has made for some relationships to stay close and survive instead of drift apart during times apart.
But online has given some this sense of power and invulnerability that one can say and do anything without repercussions. They carry that over into offline life and you can see in society how some things spread and get out of hand. When certain agencies need social media experts just to do their jobs properly I think we have a problem.
I am thankful for online social connection. But I do have problems at times with the Disconnectors. But I suppose we all do it at some point. It’s easier than facing someone and telling them whatever the problem is. If you ever get disconnected by me, put it down to a memory thing. I pretty much stay connected to everyone. Well, unless you are like an uber-jerk. You know who you are. Muahahahahaha.
(Um, that last part was a joke people. So stop thinking it was you I was talking about. Paranoid much?)
There of course is the idea of Ease of Social Connectivity leading to Societal Disconnect. That’s another topic my thoughts are circling around and I may discuss another time.
What do we do?
Keeping a protective barrier is one idea. By barrier I mean have emotional security checks in place people need to pass through before entering that real “Friend” circle. Not everyone will hang around but using our mind and not heart will protect that heart. Yes, I know…sometimes that heart is going to take over. And sometimes it will be correct. But with the majority, treat your heart and self like you would treat a child in your care and who you would allow them to be with. In other words, Guard Yourself by taking your time in who you let into your private circle of true friends and remember that social network is like social anything, it’s just an every now and then thing. Just like social drinking though, it can get you in trouble.
Oh, and write a lot about a lot of things. That always helps. I mean who can socialize when they write all…the…time. I’m looking at you, and you know who you are.
Ronovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.
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