So maybe I am a very old fashioned soul, but I don’t understand what is happening to our world. I know that I have previously written about this topic, but I need to do it again.
Social media. What a crock, really. It is basically advertising, but with the added illusion that it is in fact truth.
As a single parent at the beginning of the new millennium, I find that the longer I am on my own, the more disconnected I feel from the rest of the world. People rarely post when they are feeling low, or worried, or sad, unless someone has died. Day to day sadness is never shared, only the funny or the poignant, or the happy. Because it makes people feel good. And I fall for that trap too, because when you post something more serious or sad, or something that makes people uncomfortable, then people don’t “like” it, and you assume that people find you whiney, or self indulgent, or just simply don’t care about your pain, or your problems. Because, let’s face it, the majority of people on facebook don’t. That is the truth.
I doubt many people will read this, and those who do are the people that I will see in the next couple of weeks most likely, in real life; with real facial expressions, and attitude, and opinions that occur in real life and that they can’t censor before speaking them, nor edit them for correct spelling!!!
A few of you may know that I have been doing internet dating on and off for years. Because, this is the new way of meeting people, isn’t it? In the old days, you used to meet people at work, or at Uni, or at the pub. These days, no one is actually out there at the pub, and if they are, they are too busy checking their facebook or their Tinder hits. I am disappointed, and I am sick of looking. Because when you write a profile or even chat to people online, they invariably put their best foot forward, and it takes time to get to know people. In reality, when the make up comes off, the nice clothes, and even, cough….the actual clothes, we are denuded, we are simply people who are looking for connection, love, romance, in a world that moves so fast that people walk into you at the shops, but not because they are charmingly awkward, but because they are staring at their phone!
What’s even more interesting, is that social media promotes certain standards for men and women. Be strong, don’t rely on others, always be beautiful, because, hey, who posts their daggiest selfie? Always be busy doing something and have it ready to upload, because you have a much more interesting life if you do, even though posting something semi interesting takes 2 minutes and the rest of the day you do mundane things like eating, and sleeping, crapping and dishes, washing, etc.
Maybe there is something wrong with me. I want real, I want faults, I want the smell of sweat on a hot day, and a nervous telephone call when a text message is easier. I am reminded of the movie Crash. People crave connection so much that they end up crashing into each other, or having thoughtless sex to feel liberated, to block out feeling. God forbid you might have feelings for others.
Why have we become so afraid of connection, of commitment, of touch? Why are we so afraid of so called “negative” feelings? Why is it desperate or sad to feel lonely? I like my own company, it’s true. But hell, I get sick of my own company, I get sick of always planning things on my own; I wish I could just pick up the phone like in the old days and say, ‘Hey, I’m off to the museum, wanna come?’
There are literally thousands of people sitting behind their computer right now craving exactly the same connection, and yet we seem to have lost the ability to go to a dance, or to socialize with others like people used to. We chat on the computer instead, fabricated threads of connection, imagining people that sometimes turn out to be completely different from what we imagined. And are then left again with the dissatisfaction. And when we do meet people in real life, we expect them to be perfect, to not snort when they laugh, to have a flat belly (even though they have given birth numerous times, and shit, everyone in their 40s and over has a stretched belly!!!), to make interesting conversation 100% of the time. I crave flaws, people. Bad breath (maybe not bad breath), but awkwardness, nerves, clumsy hand holding, and love that emerges from relating to people. All I can say is thank goodness for the friends I have made over the years through knowing them, talking to them day to day. I will keep the hope alive that one day I will meet someone in real life, and get to know them, and fall in love.
In the meantime, I will go along with this new wave of relating, I will log into that website, time and again, hoping….