Just weeks ago, my beloved sister, Debbie, passed into eternity after a 16 month journey with cancer. During her illness and in its aftermath, Debbie and/or her family were able to disperse information about her condition to (and receive encouragement from) hundreds of people using, social media. With the clack of a few keys and the click of a button– whoosh…the information was released to more people than we could have communicated, with face to face, in a week.
I love what technology can give me. What I don’t love is what it can take away. Reading that my friend had cheesecake for breakfast and despises her boss is a poor substitute for looking into her eyes and hearing her heart. Online, I can click that I “like” her breakfast menu choice and LOL at her tirade about her boss. But face to face, I might discern what her unhealthy diet and emotions are really saying about her well-being.
Social Media provides the perfect camouflage for hiding in plain site. We reveal to our “friends”, however many hundreds we have, exactly what we want them to know. Usually, it is far too much and not nearly enough. Many posts are dripping with drivel but completely void of authentic disclosure of who and how the writer really is.
It may feel good in the moment to present a false face to the world–to believe we are being perceived as successful and happy. But what we really want at the end of the day, is someone who knows us intimately, truthfully, and accepts us completely.
Technology is useful and Facebook is fun, but social media should never be allowed to crowd out face to face friendships. There is no substitute for real relationships with real people in real time.