When friends become little more than a thumbs up.
We live in an increasingly digital world, where even our friendships are becoming digitised. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat… these platforms all belong to a digital subgroup, known as “social media”.
Now, I’m not knocking social media. I met my best friend on Facebook, and, given my anxiety and depression, if I’m honest, without social media, I probably wouldn’t speak to anyone for days at a time.
The thing is, lately, looking at my social media feeds, and all of the hashtags and trending topics, it struck me. In this ever growing digital world, sites like Facebook are replacing real life interactions.
The truth is, there are people on my friends list that I see on a weekly basis, and though they may ‘like’ my posts, they don’t actually talk to me when they see me in person.
Basically, they only know what I show to the world (or my chosen friends list) on my feeds. It is so easy to click ‘like’ on a post, and to believe that this is the same thing as actually interacting with people. I know because I’ve done it myself.
It’s the simplest thing in the world, and it seems to be replacing talking to people in real life. So I guess what I’m trying to say, is that with an ever growing circle of people that we are connected with, sometimes we need to remember the real life people on the other side of the screen.
Sometimes, we need to look beyond the persona on the screen, to the person behind it, and maybe pick up the phone and check in on them, or arrange to meet for a catch up. You never know what someone is going through, and they could be fighting unimaginable battles, all hidden beneath a bright smile.
So, please, don’t become a part of the (anti)social media revolution. Pick up the phone; make the effort to meet up with your friends face to face. Be the person who looks beyond words on a page, because online, it’s easy for us to be anyone we want to be, and sometimes all we need is for someone to look a little deeper.
Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.