Let me preach to the choir and start off by saying the world has really changed since the advent of social media. Like you don't already know, right? 😃
So, there are so many changes social media has brought to the world, the one of concern to this post is the change that has to do with having your friends around you all the time - on your phone; easily accessible and open for your message everytime.
In the past a person didn't have that easy access to their friends all the time. Your friends from high school, university, church, neighborhood, clubs, etc could only be spoken to when you run into them or when you arrange a meeting with them or when you sent them a letter. Even during the time of telegraphs and fax the bottom line is that there was still some difficulty in speaking to your friends in comparison to how it is today.
Today you have friends from all walks of life right there on your phone and you carry your phone with you mostly for most of the day, your friends are just few movements of your fingers away from you. And do you know the effects of this? I'm not going to talk about the effects that easily come to mind like cheapness, pleasure, ease, etc. Rather, I'll talk about the one many haven't realized but go through everyday and that is:
The Way this Availability Punishes Us and Our Friendships When We Aren't Using It to the Fullest
Right now since we have our friends few clicks away all the time it now seems like we are supposed to talk to them regularly or we are not friends anymore or we are now enemies or we are now acting too big for them. Stay with me here...
You see, most of us have not thought "oh, this all new, naturally one isn't supposed to have their friends by the corner like this all the time and now that we do it doesn't mean we should be talking to them all the time." And since people haven't thought like this they go on to feel the strong pressure to talk to their friends all the time.
They don't succumb to this pressure because it is quite stressful to be messaging all your friends so frequently but what this pressure does to them when they don't succumb is that it creates a little feeling of bad blood between them. A friend looks at another friend on the contact list of WhatsApp and feels really guilty for not messaging them in months. Sometimes they feel anger or resentment towards that friend because that friend hasn't messaged them in months.
They go on to say things like "this one feels too big to message me, huh?" "This one thinks they're the only ones who can snub", "if you're not trying to be close to me I wouldn't try to be close to you", "Oh, I haven't checked up on this one for so long, what kind of friend am I?" etc etc. They say this instead of just saying:
"It is unnatural to have so many friends around you all the time and since social media has made this possible we should note that nothing has made possible the unnatural ability to keep in touch with all of them regularly and so we shouldn't feel bad for our inability to keep in touch sometimes, we shouldn't take it personal, if we stay a long time without talking it doesn't mean we are enemies or feeling too big neither does it mean we're guilty of something unpleasant, it's just quite impossible to keep in touch all the time."
GB WhatsApp the Biggest Symptom of it
These feelings of resentment, guilt and accusing of peers of pride is what has made GB WhatsApp and other options of being a ghost on social media so attractive and popular among people. This being a ghost thing is about making your profile seem like you're offline so that your friends wouldn't see that you've been coming online and refusing to talk to them. It also hided when last you were online so that your friends wouldn't know you've been around recently.
Other options include hiding your name when you view their updates. This one is so that when you view their updates your name wouldn't show as a viewer and so it wouldn't make them think "oh this one only views my updates he doesn't talk to me, must be feeling too big to talk to me ". It also makes them not to feel guilty for not talking to you because a lot of people see your name as a viewer and say "oh this my friend,.I haven't spoken to them in a while, what kind of friend am I?"
Broadcast Check-up Message
Many people sometimes send the same/similar broadcast message to all their contacts saying they're just checking up on them. This is in order to make it NOT seem like their feeling too big to talk. It's also to help deal with their guilt of not messaging their friends for so long. They also do this on their status updates too, they post something like "if you see this say 'hi' I'm just checking up on my friends".
Avoiding Friends Posts
People avoid posts of their friends for the same reason they hide their names from showing as a viewer. They don't want to appear like they've been around without talking. They also don't want conversations to arise from their engagement with their friends' posts because they feel conversations have become awkward and has a little bad blood in the backgrounds because they haven't spoken in a long while.
The major problem is the resentment, guilt and suspecting our friends of pride. We should rather just accept that this unnatural access to so many friends did not come with the unnatural ability to keep in touch with them regularly and so staying out of touch does not mean pride and shouldn't bring resentment or guilt.
When they come to this realization they wouldn't try indulging in those things talked about under Symptoms above. They'll feel all natural and know that we talk when we can and when we can't it's still cool until a need arises.
Roll with @nevies, I run a Humor, deeper thoughts and sex talk blog here on Hive🌚
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