In the age of Social Media, is the fear of rejection keeping us from genuine friendships?

I have a love-hate relationship with Social Media. On the one hand, I realize how toxic Facebook, Twitter and their comrades can be. On the other, used correctly Social Media can be a tool to help us grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally. In this ever-speeding society, Social Media can help us keep in touch. It can help us make new friends.

Some time ago I was surfing Facebook when I came across a post in a group, by one of my high-school friends. We are not friends on Facebook. In contradiction to my better judgment, I hoped over to this woman’s Facebook wall. Since I was not ‘friends’ with her I could only see what she has shared publicly.
What I found was some stunning array of profile pictures. Damn! After some ten plus years, she looked even hotter than before. There were some pictures of her skydiving and others of her looking good in some stunning scenery.

I admit that the big ugly green-eyed monster immediately assaulted me. I’m carrying around 30 plus kilograms from when I was in high school. I hardly ever leave my dull monotonous spaces and apart from that one time – I defiantly don’t go around doing extreme sports. Sh*t, to anyone looking in from the outside, my life is pretty much mundane and boring.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t go sharing much of the mundane and boring things online. In all honesty, since I’ve starting using What’s App, I’ve shared very little of anything personal on open sites such as FaceBook and Twitter. While there is certainly a measured degree of vulnerability to the things I write on this blog, it is camouflaged by the persona behind which I hide.

To make it as a good writer, it takes a certain type of finesse and courage to be vulnerable in a genuine and especially non-attention seeking manner.

As Paul Gallico put it:

“It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader.”

Perhaps this is why so many of us, writers, hide behind a pen name. While writers hide behind a pseudonym, people, in general, hide behind an invisible mask. A façade.

How many of us are governed by our fear of rejection?

In today’s society, we want to it appear we lead the ideal life. We would like to say; “Look at my FaceBook hall of fame.” Thus, we share only that which would gain us the validation we seek from our family and peers. Whether on or off-line, we talk about and share only that, which would entice, entertain and solicit amazement.

“I patted an ostrich on the back.”
“I went skydiving”
“My kid/pet did the cutest thing”

We share only life’s highlights. We make it seem that our life consists of sparkly high notes. Forget those mundane, gray things. Erase those downright dark and dreary things. It is almost as, if there were no public record of these things, they did not exist.  We somehow hope that people who were friends or lovers in the past look at our timeline with a certain longing envy. This is my life! This is me!

I am a liar.

Because life is not perfect. I am not perfect. Nobody is perfect, not even Tom Cruise, J.K. Rowling or the Queen of England.

This mask only comes off, when we really get to know someone. Underneath their perfect, we find an authentic human being. Underneath their perfect, we can see someone as they are. Only when we choose to love each other underneath our perfect, is a friendship or relationship worth having, genuine and beautiful. Underneath our perfect is where the true connection lies.

Ironically, we often seek this connection when we venture out into the world of Social Media, when we go sit in a pub, or when we try to impress someone at school or work.

We fear to say, “this is me, accept me as I am.”
We fail to realize, “I am enough.”

 

p.s. This post has been the ninth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect’, a series I’m currently running on this here blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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5 thoughts on “In the age of Social Media, is the fear of rejection keeping us from genuine friendships?”

  1. I keep seeing it mentioned that people only share the happy stuff on social media. But I, for one, always share the good and the bad on Facebook (and Twitter and Instagram…). Because life is not just exciting happy moments. Sometimes life utter sucks and one needs friends to rally around and share hugs!
    I think you’re right about the pen name thing. I never could come up with one I liked, so I don’t have one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I share good and bad alike, mostly bad. From time to time I “opine.” And I often think, “Who’s reading this and why do they care?”

    Like

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