My morning routine at work is symptomatic of the lies we partake on social media. I go on Twitter and LinkedIn and blindly like or re-share my colleagues posts. I don’t read them I just like them.
Because the company I work for – like all companies – wants to trend. Upper management “suggests” we be good corporate citizens and support our colleagues. The goal is to appear more popular than reality dictates. It is no different than what we do in our daily lives.
I watch and listen to teenagers and pre-teens talk about how many likes a certain post received. They talk about their streaks on Snapchat or what they put on Finsta. They “accomplish these feats of marvel by asking their friends to like or re-post their pictures or words of wisdom. None of the achieved status is real but we convince ourselves it means something.
Like awards ceremonies. The Hollywood elites spend a great deal of time self-congratulating themselves for mostly imagined accomplishments. Big woop, an actor got a viewer to cry and that gives them license to pontificate on all things politics in their acceptance speeches. Get real. Oh wait, it’s Hollywood – nothing is real.
In reality, our social media status is more about trends and manufactured likes, comments and buzz and less about the actual purpose of social media. I always thought it was a great way to communicate – in a strange way, a throwback to the past when the written word meant something.
The medium gives us an opportunity to stay in touch with family and friends that otherwise get lost in the shuffle of life. Unfortunately, it’s not about staying in touch but about how many followers we can claim. In most cases, we seldom know who all our followers are at a given time.
It’s smoke and mirrors.
Then we wonder why we live in a society where no one believes what we read, what we hear, or one another. I think it all begins when our parents come clean about Santa Claus. Think about it. The first big lie we learn as children– other than that stork story – is the biggest day of the year is a lie. From a commercial point of view, not religious.
We know politicians are lying when their lips are moving. We know the media is a biased joke that cannot be trusted. No one believes what they read or hear in advertisements. We barely believe each other. In fact, we are becoming conditioned to expect the opposite of everything we hear and see.
How many times have we heard a person is “too good to be true?” We question intent and assign motives to everything and everyone.
The sad irony is we all just want to be connected with one another. We look for meaningful relationships, dialog, and true friends. But we fool ourselves into believing we attained that nirvana by manufacturing it ourselves. How is that any different than the imaginary friends we had as children?