Yesterday, I took care of one of my least favorite tasks and that to do food shopping. I quickly finished my shopping and paid. While walking out of the store it felt as though time had stopped. That feeling didn’t come from rushing to get through tasks, but instead the amount of people text messaging on their phones. Silence filled the exit area of the store, as employees sat next to each without saying a word to each other. Let alone make eye contact. A row of men and women sat on benches staring into their phone screens. More and more, human relationships valued through social media have replaced actual human contact. Not only how we interact has changed, but also how we show interest or disinterest in having or maintaining relationships. So how do you know if you’re being annoying?
It’s not as easy when someone stops by unexpectedly. A neighbor, even a relative could mean you may need to change your plans so to accommodate that person in order to keep the peace. They may be the most annoying person, but you make the best of the situation so not to damage the relationship. Online it may mean an instant delete on Facebook or Twitter. The excuse when questioned, a lack of computer skill. For some reason it just wasn’t mean to be when having ‘friends’ online. In an instant that I post news, it’s gone faster through the rumor mill of my family, even faster than a 747 airplane. I learned this lesson the hard way, but what I didn’t know was that there are categories for people on social media. I was surprised to read so many of them. For example, the Grinder is someone who constantly complains about their life and events online. The ‘friend’ who’s Living the Dream spends most of their time posting about their lives as a warm sunshine. The expensive gifts and elaborate restaurants they’re attending. The Pay Attention Everyone person, these are the ones that post about everything in the news.
Although any one of us can fit into one or more of these categories, if we are going to continue living life online, then we need to ask ourselves what type of online friend do you want to be. If you want to be awesome in real life and virtually, then just live. Go out and go somewhere, read a book that brings you meaning, or do something that makes you happy and fulfilled. Even though text messaging and using Facebook are good tools, by living life you’ll have so many more interesting things to talk about. So pick up the phone, and arrange to stop by a friend’s house and have that good old-fashioned face-to-face about a real-life experience you just had. Instead of living in a world of social media silence, this is what life was meant to be, real.