I'm a pretty sensitive person. It's one of the reasons I sometimes don't blog (that, and the fact that I don't have tons of time.) The computer, with all it's trending social interfaces sometimes leaves me feeling vulnerable, to say the least. As a stay at home mom, I think it's easy to put too much importance on online friendships. And when I do that, my feelings sometimes get hurt.
For instance, if I meet you, and we serve together somewhere, or we have drinks together, or we chat a little while, or even if we have known each other for quite a while and we see each other all the time on facebook but never ever comment on each others facebook stuff, sometimes - not all the time, but sometimes I feel like we are passing each other in the hallway in high school and you are acting like you don't know me because you don't like me. I'm not saying that this is true. I'm just saying that that this is how I sometimes feel.
Now, this feeling comes and goes in my life. Sometimes I am much more secure than others, but I do get the feeling that because we are dealing with the internet and not "in person," we begin to think that the online life is not "real" life at all. But in truth, every person you see online is a real person. I am real. You, if you are reading this, are real. We all have feelings and we all deserve courtesy, even if we are dealing online. If I have asked you to be my friend on a social media site, then that means that I like you as a person and I want to be your friend. Same thing goes if you asked me and I accepted your friendship.
So then why do these feelings that I am not liked enter into my online time? I have quite a few friends that I want to be friendly with and they are just not friendly with me. Perhaps it is because they just don't talk to many people online. Maybe it's because they don't have anything in common with me. Or it could be that they just don't like me. Whatever the reason, it makes me feel vulnerable. It makes me feel like I am way too dependent on blogs, or facebook. So, then I hide for a little while. Until I start craving company again.
Do any of you feel this way?
Is social media hindering our social skills?
I think maybe so.
We can be tempted to just go around observing what each other wants us to see about ourselves without ever really getting involved in a relationship. We could possibly continue fake friendships for the sake of posterity or curiosity without really learning to love each other despite our faults as human beings and our differences of opinions. We might fool ourselves into believing that we have a great community, when all we are doing is watching "would be, could be" communities go by while sitting on the outskirts and not putting in any effort.
Now, I am the first to admit that I don't get together with people that I really love very often because of time restraints with my four kids and my jewelry business - and just the business of running life. I always hope to develop in-person friendships. But if I don't get to hang with you, please know that I know you are real. If you talk to me, I will acknowledge you. If I "like" something of yours, it means I really like it. I just want you to know, that if you ever feel vulnerable with all these online friendships, then you have a friend who feels the same way.
And if I'm the only one, then at least you know why I sometimes choose not to blog...