Your Social Media or Your You Too?
I heard someone recently say ‘You only need social media to have friends! That should be your first port of call! You can like yourself later, once you know if people like you first or not?”
Plus last week l read an article which suggested that generations of people born between the early 80’s to the late 90’s were experiencing much higher levels of loneliness than other generations of people. Many of this age group [Mid 30’s – 40’s], feel that they have no friends and struggle to sustain long lasting friendships.
Of course the likes of social media and other digital habits and behaviours are seen as the aggressors towards this problem – online gaming, blogging, socialising and so on. But are they really the biggest baddies here?
I make no lies about not ever suffering from or even experiencing loneliness – l can sympathise to those who must feel it of sorts, it must be terrible to feel alone, but l have no direct knowledge of it, so l don’t how they truly feel?
My father maintained he was a lonely man, he surrounded himself with people each and every day and so he had ‘friends’ always in attendence to his social needs. He never looked lonely – not in my eyes anyway – but he said he was. He was always busy with people – but also he disliked his own company intensely. He could not stand to be in his own presence for too long? He never used any social media platforms, and when he died last year, one of the things he said was that he would die a lonely man. Dad, said he NEVER had enough friends!
I am familiar with feeling ‘alone’, but there is a chasm of difference between being lonely and feeling alone.
Suze doesn’t have many ‘real life’ friends, she can count them on her hand, and they will never even reach the thumb when counting. She doesn’t have any online friends. I have no in real life friendships, well l do, but they are mostly ‘casual acquaintances’, l have more ‘online friends’ and l am comfortable with that.
But also, l have noticed something, that both Suze and my father don’t/didn’t like their own company. Many a time l prefer my own company than being in the company of other people. I wonder if that makes for a huge difference and does that affect loneliness?
Suze and my father both have/had friends that stretched over many years some even from childhood in my father’s concern. Suze’s longest friendship is something akin to 30+ years??
We have long heard that social media platforms are not real friends, although l would say that if the persons wish for the friendships to go further, there is nothing preventing that from happening. We have also heard time and time again, that despite being online, no one really feels connected anymore and that this leads to loneliness? That we don’t have real communities anymore, no more ‘tribes’ of people.
This whole topic confuses me at best anyway, but what the article was saying is that ‘perhaps ‘friendship’ and the concept of friendship, should be taught? Like at school? I don’t remember being taught how to be friends with people at school anyway, and that was LONG before even the concept of social media. At school l had friends, l don’t specifically recall having to be taught to like someone, let alone how to become friends with someone.
Is this something that should be done? Should friendship be taught in schools as like a social subject? Would that make any difference to people feeling lonely, isolated or out of touch? Would it further encourage people to interact and engage? Should perhaps it not be taught that first and foremost, we should like who we are as people? That we should be our own friends? That we should be able to tolerate our own world, our own space and our own mind space? Be happy with who we are, then would it matter if we had people in our lives or not?
So what do you think?
Your Social Media First or Your You Too?
What’s more important to you first . . . .
Being your own friend, or being the friend to others in social media forgetting your wellbeing needs?
Is being your own friend, important?
Do you even like you?
Let me know below, cheers Rory