I woke up this morning and was reading the news and again I see more protests. Thankfully, this is a peaceful protest but it is a sign of the times. There is a distance between people all over. People are hurting, angry, and feel no one is listening. I find it all sad but what I find even sadder is that people are becoming detached to others in general and I personally think social media has encouraged this and encouraged people to post hate and racism on the internet thinking they are hiding behind a screen.
I read an article about social media and how for adults, it has become like high school again. There are cliques and high school behavior all over the place. Friends and loved ones have now become an expendable commodity. It is an attitude of distance and if someone makes you mad, throw them away. If someone “more entertaining” comes along, people toss the one that has been loyal and there for them because someone else entertains them more. There seems to be little staying ground with friendship. Friendship has become expendable and people have forgotten what being a real friend really is.
Do you remember high school where you had the “cliques” that people formed and if you were not part of their group, they had nothing to do with you or were mean to you. There was bullying, manipulating, and people thought it was acceptable to do this. I had a schoolmate I talked to one time in the past few years and she said “I was so mean to you in high school and now I feel bad about it.” Took forty years but she now feels bad about it. Fortunately for me, I am a strong person and did not carry hate or anger for these types of things but it does give a glimpse of how we have become the society we have. And I think about the kids who were not strong, we felt bullied and hurt and some even resorted to suicide.
I have been bullied, mistreated, lied to and used in the past but I have been blessed with a forgiving nature and the belief that love is something precious, family is something precious and friends are something precious and you do not throw them away or take them for granted. Yes, I have had and still have people who toss me aside like I am expendable, only to try to keep a line attached just enough that if they need you, you are still there. But, there comes a point where you tear the blanket and severe the relationship because it is not a healthy relationship. I do not break the relationship easily and try to keep the line of communication open until that day I realize that the person I thought was such a good friend really never was.
Now, to translate that to the world today. People use social media like high school even when they are adults and middle-aged and up. They feel like the more “friends” they have on their FB makes them the most popular and it is like a power trip to them. I keep my FB small on purpose. I distinguish between friends and acquaintances and so keeping my FB small means I have the time to give to those I say I love. This is especially important considering my health is not good and I have limited energy to give.
So, if you look around the world and around the world of social media, you will see how people play people against each other, use them to get whatever it is that they want or need in life emotionally or physically and how what appears to be friendship online is very seldom what you think it is. Hold tight to those that really love you for one day you may wake up and realize those hundreds of people who are on your FB really do not even know you. And the ones that you tossed away or misused were the true friends.
People fight for attention just like high school kids did and for being the “teacher’s pet” only on social media it is being the one that gets the most attention. Ask yourself how many times you have become very friendly with someone on social media only to have tossed them later to move on to someone else and how many people have you hurt that you can not make up for the hurt you did to them.
Now, lets take that on to the world. There is a divide among people. People use social media to get even with people, to show their prejudice against certain people, to make fun of people, to get attention when they want it from people but there is no real connect with so many for they do not know what friendship is. And what is not right is allowed even when reported on social media. Some people just play the game that is like being in a program where you build your own home and life only the program is called acting like a high school kid on a social media platform. And yet, these same people use this attitude on social media in life and the hate, racism, manipulation, etc goes on in real-life. Maybe it is time to put down the smart phones, and start living real-life. Look at those around you without that smart phone that have cared for you and loved you only to be ignored or abandoned and ask yourself why you allowed a social media platform to rule your life and affect how you treat others.
We have got to change the world starting from our life outward. We have got to be accountable for ourselves and our actions and we have got to quit using love as a commodity. The end result will be people begin “ripping the blanket” to separate themselves from you. We can not change the hate and racism and tension in the world if we do not change ourselves first.
We have only one life to live here. This is not a dress rehearsal nor are there any retakes. We have to work to get it right while we are here whether it is five years, ten years, forty years or 100 years. If we are accountable then maybe we can help others be accountable.