My life before the social media giants took over.
Before Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram occupied most of waking hours there were Skype, Ryze, and private networking forums. Communication platforms where real relationships were built. There was knowledge shared, support given, and lifelong friendships made without boundaries of race, religion, sexuality, political beliefs, or geographic constraints.
Thoughts were shared and discussed. Confessions were made. Problems were solved. Fears were heard. Opinions and differences were respected. Technology was shared and taught. Knowledge was not monetized, it was shared. Blog posts were honest, vulnerable, and raw.
Then something happened. Mobile technology happened in mass. Twitter and Facebook happened and suddenly our safe, loving, respected virtual relationships were opened up to the world. Our neighbors, family members, and in real life friends joined. They joined the conversations, they judged and things changed.
We all got lured over to the excitement of the new platforms while our old, supportive ones faded away.
At first, Twitter was magical. I met many of my local in-person friends via Twitter. And, like my early virtual friends, my Twitter friends changed my life. That was 10 years ago. Twitter has changed. Facebook has changed. We have all changed. More often than not, I find myself agitated by posts or feel misunderstood by people who read my posts. The human connections and flow I used to feel seem gone. I think I go back every
day hour looking for it. Facebook, I am not even sure why I go back there. Maybe to keep the very thin connection it holds to my family and old childhood friends.
I am not sure where the next frontier in human connection is going to happen. I think maybe it is time for the pendulum to swing and we go back to the good old fashioned face to face, one on one time with each other.
“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you are with.”
Maybe if we put our screens down for a few minutes we will remember or discover those people right in front of us, or next to us in line for coffee.
I am putting my screen down right now to have coffee with my wife.