OMG, you just posted something like half an hour ago, SHUT UP, nobody cares!
Well, I care, and I find that most rude.
That was the best transition I could come up with. Needs work, I know, I’m new to this blogging thing. Give me some time to get there.
Social media is the new way to make friends and by new, I mean it has been around in full force for the better part of a decade. Think of what all the socially anxious people were thinking. The following is actual recorded footage from the mind of Alex Carmine (that’s me, for those of you who haven’t read my blog from the beginning, HOW DARE YOU!):
Alex: What is this? Dad, what’s Facebook?
Dad: Well, if you don’t know, how should I know?
I do some research. Facebook is a social media (social media?) platform where you can talk to friends online using customised profiles as well as discovering lost friends through mutual friends as a way of expanding your social connections to an international platform.
Alex: (thinking) So you’re saying I can make friends without being face-to-face with said potential friends?
Computer: Yes, you loser.
Alex: OMG, yes.
That is actually how it went down. My computer spoke to me.
I realised that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all presented ways for me to become more confident with interacting with people. I could talk to people from home in a very conventional way as well as re-connecting with friends from my younger days. It was going to be perfect, a way to show that I could be cool in the 21st century way.
Nope, dead wrong.
I restricted myself to adding only people I’ve personally known in my life. When I started using social media, I was very supportive on being safe on the internet and wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to end up somehow dead in a gutter because I wanted to make 1,000 friends on Facebook. Nobody shared these ideals with me as most of the people who accepted my friend requests had almost close to 2,000 friends each. This cracked my confidence to a degree as I realised that anything I posted was not going to be seen through such an extensive news feed.
Second problem, I realised how remarkably unknown I was a couple of years after leaving my primary school (the school you go to at age 8-11 for the non-Brits). I was one of the smartest kids during those years in my class and I figured that would be my legacy in the minds of children. But apparently, they had “grown up” and most didn’t remember who I was. So most of my posts were ignored completely.
Eventually, the constant ignoring by people online pushed me away from using it. Even as I met new people and would maybe use the platforms to add or follow them, I would stop viewing their posts due to it feeling pointless. I was becoming the guy who wished to be one of the cool kids but couldn’t break through.
It’s been a few years since I first attached myself to all the platforms and I eventually realised why I was feeling so bad every time I used these platforms.
I had convinced myself that these social media platforms had become the concrete medium to being able to have genuine friends. I felt that if I could not have friends on Facebook, there was no point in trying in reality. Maybe that sounds stupid to some of you and the truth is it does and it’s taken me years to realise. I’ve made some of the best friends of my entire life by getting to know them in real life. There are just some things that Twitter can’t tell you about a person. Secret handshakes from when we were kids or who has the best Cards against Humanity combination. These are things I had to find out when I was with my friends and not behind a digital barrier. Convincing myself that I would never have friends because I was ignored online what a mistake and if any of you do it, I implore you, it’s not true.
Now this isn’t a complete dump on social media. They should be used as it is a good way to communicate and stay up to date with people’s lives. But according to some reports, obsessing over social media correlates with events of depression. I’m not sure if there is a direct connection but I can say I wasted hours in front of my laptop screen waiting for people to like my posts and it not happening. It’s not worth beating yourself up over it.
You should cherish the friends and connections you have in real life, they are the ones that matter most and they will ultimately be the ones that you will seek out when you’re feeling happy or upset.
Good night, you potatoes. Enjoy the cocoa!