A few days ago, I wished a friend on her birthday by posting on her Facebook wall. Although, it was a sincere birthday greeting, it was lost among the dozens of birthday wishes that had been posted. Since she was one of my best friends, I eagerly waited for a personal message. The next day, she posted a “status” on her wall that thanked everyone who had wished her on Facebook. I was disappointed. There was no personal “Thank You” note for me. Our friendship, spanning years, had crumbled down to this moment. My birthday greeting was filled with a gamut of emotions, including happiness, for her.
However, all it really takes to wish a Facebook “friend” is a click on the birthday reminder message..
That’s it; just a click. How do you know whether there are any emotions involved in the greetings or not ?
The social media sphere does not permit emotions. So, although, we say we are living in a “connected” world, the truth is that we are disconnected from reality.
We cannot express real emotions over social networks.
Overcoming a brush with Death gets a “Like”
The introduction of social networking sites, and the infiltration of technology into our lives have disintegrated face to face interaction among individuals. This reminds me of another incident; one that occurred a couple of months ago.
One of my classmates from school, met with a terrible car accident in June this year. She suffered multiple fractures and head injuries and was confined to the intensive care unit for a week. She had to undergo three major surgeries and is still recuperating from the freak accident. While recovering, she updated her “status” on Facebook with the news, only to receive scores of “Likes”. All her Facebook “friends” empathized with her condition.
But let me ask a question here. Is human tragedy and sorrow worth only a “like” on a social networking website?
Where is the compassion or the emotional connection?
I fail to see it in our online existence.
The iPad, You, and the heartless online world
We were visiting family friends one evening when I realized that while I have always interacted well with the parents, I had yet to meet their son. I’ve been living in the same residential building for the last eight years, but we’ve never met. His parents have always been warm and friendly, but the boy fails to have a face to face connection with people. He just manages to say a diffident “Hi” and then darts back into his room. So much for social interaction, I thought. But, that evening the boy was socially networking – on his iPad. The whole evening, he was holed up in his room. Even when his mother called out to him while we were leaving, he failed to respond.
Whether we live in a lonely, disconnected society or a connected, compassionate society is a question that we need to ask ourselves.
However, there is no doubt that the Internet and online social networking sites have created a rift in society. The differences of opinion will exist. Everyone has the freedom to voice their opinions. What is yours?
Kritika Pramod Kulshrestha