The Age of Social Media: Searching for Personal Connections in a Disconnected World

It’s Tough to Befriend a Filter

Social media has offered a lot of opportunities. More than anything, this platform offers the chance to create the life you want others to think you have. It’s like a digital makeover.

The one major flaw in the digital makeover concept is that your pseudo-life doesn’t typically reflect your real life.

You see, social media acts as an epic filter. You get to choose the exact words and photos that support a certain image of you. People don’t really have a choice whether to believe it or not. Especially if you’re only connected to them on social media.

So when you attempt to make personal connections, you’re really attempting to connect to a filtered version of another human. It’s anything but authentic.

Competition Has Replaced Networking

Along with this idea of creating a digital life filter, most people succumb to devious competition. In other words, the image you create has a tendency to make you want to keep up with the Joneses. Online, at least.

You might find yourself only posting the best of the best pictures or information about you and your family. It’s as if these pictures and shared information complete the desired image you’ve concocted.

Some people like to call this social branding. For others, it’s nothing more than boasting or telling lies.

And, nine times of out ten, you’re primarily posting simply to keep up that false image. With this competitive mindset, it’s only natural that others are on guard.

The “Crutch” is No Match for Real Life

When you reach out to make personal connections on social media, it’s not uncommon to be disappointed. A major cause for the disappointment is that the mask we use to live through social media just doesn’t cut it in real life.

For example, lunch with a friend might present itself as slightly less amusing than the conversation you had with them on messenger.

The real-life conversational feedback simply doesn’t grant you the same satisfaction that a “like” or a “follow” does. Plus, virtual conversations aren’t real time. You and the other person have plenty of time for witty comebacks when connecting online.

Social media caters to unrealistic social expectations. This in itself is why it can be so difficult to make personal connections.

In short, social media is a crutch.

The Best Way to Use Social Media

To sum up, real-life is no match for virtual-life. With all of these roadblocks in the virtual way, what, then, is the best way to use social media platforms to make personal connections?

Here’s the thing: the point in searching for a personal connection is to foster an authentic relationship. After all, relationships require nurturing to thrive. Really, this can only be accomplished face-to-face.

The best way to use social media is as a starting point or to make plans to meet up. Save the serious stuff for when you’re actually sitting two feet away from your friend and not for sending it through a post.

If you’re having trouble establishing personal connections in your own life, whether it’s because of social media complications or another reason altogether, then please contact me. I’d love to help you navigate the often complex world of relationships so you can live a more satisfying life.