Updated: Mar 15, 2020
So I was thinking about this theory.
Is it easier to engage and hide behind a filter that is social media than it is to actually go and experience life?
Can we create a false persona online and when it actually comes to experience the real deal (life), do we become cowards?
Has social media left us in a state of confusion on how we are meant to interact in the world?
Is it often easier to express opinions and comment to or about a person over cyberspace?
But what if they walk into the cafe you are sitting in and you are confronted face to face with them? This is where reality often becomes blurred.
Has the internet given us a false sense of comradeship? In reality, would we rather remain anonymous and incognito when out in public?
Do our personalities and values align with the ones we portray on social media?
The internet is a great way for interaction and making contacts but we still actually have to go and do the physical tangible communication in real time.
I was sitting in a cafe and an acquaintance who commented on my paintings and on a vulnerable poem I wrote on social media just walked in. I put my head down because I often find it hard to take compliments. Another reason was honestly, I don't really know this person anymore and haven't seen her in decades since we were in school together.
So I have two options.
Do I go over and talk to the woman and introduce myself and catch up on the years and bridge the gap between computer and reality? Or, do I just leave it as is, hidden behind the safety net that is the screen?
The real me wants to get up, stop writing this and go over. The real me is excited to talk to people. But the overthinking mindset sets in with -
is human interaction even needed if we already get our little buzzes and "likes" online? Does she even want or need to know me?
.........I look up and I hear "hello there, it is lovely to see you, I thought since I was talking to you online that I would say hello'.
I get a fright. I stop typing because let's face it, this writing is debunked.
People do want to bridge the gap. People do want physical interaction. People do want to talk face to face. It was my dramatising head that was questioning -
questioning my confidence, authenticity, worth and other people's worth.
We chatted, and I felt vulnerable and slightly ashamed of the fact that I had seen her come in but was too embarrassed or shy to come over.
Sometimes, it is up to us to leave our ego on the chair, get up off our asses and go say hi, because if she hadn't, I would have missed out on a lovely conversation.
Why deny ourselves the human connection just because we are scared? This is a false story in our heads. Next time this pops up, I will remember that it is just bullshit and do the opposite because that is where life happens.
Thank you to the woman who came over to me when I was over thinking what it meant getting up and going over to her.
Thank you for allowing me the chance to bridge the gap and for making me see the importance of maintaining truth in the face of technology. Thank you for brightening up the day and filling in the years. Thank you for being a fan of my work.
I take the hello and compliment with gratitude and hope to meet again in real time.
P.s With the virus situation, I guess say hello at your own peril. Communicating using the "social distancing" protocol is still probably better than the 'screen distancing' one unless of course you are in lockdown in which case the internet is probably a godsend:)