Share. The word share has brought this generation to a whole new level – with the capability of social media as a platform to post our status updates and photos in just one click. It changed how we behave as a person or worse slowly disregarding the deeper meaning of “sharing”. I am writing this note not because I abhor the existence of internet but I wanted to share how I, as a social media user is also a culprit of these allegations.
I remember one morning, it was raining in Manila and almost all roads were closed and weren’t passable. That day, my friend who visited the Philippines had a scheduled flight back to Malaysia. I told him that the only option he had was to rebook his ticket, but he insisted to go. So we called a taxi, grabbed his luggage and went to the airport. The journey was tough. We had to ran through traffic, and even rode a tricycle while sitting on its roof because the waterfloods were above the waist. The challenging yet fun experience gave me that certain feeling that I wanted to share that moment with friends. So I took my phone from my pocket and asked my friend for a photo. However, he said, “You know, there are things that should be kept just between us. 10 years from now, at least, we have a story to tell our “friends” about this awesome experience. The world doesn’t need to know.” Still I insisted for a click.
“Be here, be present. Wherever you are, be there.” – Willie Nelson
Connection. Once we shared something on our social media accounts, we get a connection in an instant. We get connected with friends, even acquaintances – with the like and comment they give, there is a sense of gratification. We share how our day was; what we had for lunch, an interesting conversation with people or even our obligatory selfie. Yes, definitely we get connected.
But where did that connection bring us? There was a time, I was staying in my room in Nong Chok, Thailand and I had no internet connection. I felt incomplete, I was searching for something that I couldn’t have in the first place. I asked myself with a hanging question, “Is internet really a necessity?” So I gave myself a scenario, if one day the internet vanished, would people still be eager to connect with people? The link that this generation gradually forgets is the value of human connection. A connection that gives us real life learning and experiences.
“Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others.” – Harriet Goldhor Lerner
Sometimes, we fuss about trivial things that we waste our time thinking about. For once, let’s not think about social media, whether who liked our photos on Instagram or who added us on Facebook. We must learn to value the moment and be in the moment.
Today, I went online on Facebook. Almost everyone was posting photos of their mom captioned with messages of gratitude. I paused for awhile and thought about it. Was it really necessary for the world to know how thankful you are to have her? So I posted a status, “It’s okay to share to the world how thankful you are to have your mom. But telling her personally would be incomparable.” Then someone commented and says, “We did and felt that telling her was not enough and that the entire world must know how we feel.. ”
I think the value of personal relationship and intimacy with the people that matter depreciates because you let the public know about it. “Personal” messages that are dedicated only to a certain person becomes a status on your wall waiting for public’s affirmation or reaction. The line between what’s personal and public becomes vague that we couldn’t even figure out what is what.
All things said, I am guilty too.