No obligation to answer


Social media has changed the lives of people significantly. Individuals share information about them and the things they are experiencing day-to-day. There seems to be a common knowledge about certain people based on what a person is sharing on social media. Everything in social media revolves around the image each person is portraying in the public. There seems to be a symbiotic relationship among digital peers to willingly expose some details of themselves even to the critical strangers.

However, there is a new phenomenon occurring of the emergence of "little celebrities", who in one way or another are indebted to their social media followers, obliging them in a way to share more information about themselves even though it may not be necessary. The problem is that people no longer ask each other about what is happening, rather people in isolation are by rule obliged to tell something even no one is asking. Has social media made the obligation to answer even there is no question? This is the focus of this blogpost.

Limited and reasonable information exchange

People share information for several reasons. The common answer might be to help our "friends" be updated on what is happening to us, and encourage them to share their thoughts about it. Isn't ironic that people want to decide by themselves on what they want, but allow others to care about oneself and one's experiences. The reason may not just be ironic but also superficial. Nevertheless, most young people like social media. The most important is people share minimally as possible. Reasonable enough that the experience seems like taking a bath with our neighbors and sleeping together with a stranger. That is not superficial, but weird and wrong.

Separation between real and virtual self

The need for recognition is ever more pressing nowadays. Our neighbors are not just considered friends but competitors in a battle to get attention and thereafter recognition and acceptance. Self-confidence is now built upon the limited resource of attention in the public, not by how one really feels truly about oneself. There is seems to be a schism between the real and virtual self. Social media, should supposedly encourage harmony between the two. Perhaps, we should remind ourselves to never share in public what seems to be untrue inward, not just for truth's sake, but for oneself.

No genuine communication

The competition of making a social media mark or influence is very evident. Every human seems to be having a microphone, the social media tool to broadcast on something. The confusing part is that we are sharing most about ourselves, not what we have learned from our experiences. It is easy to make others react, but we do not make others reflect. We throw a ball but we really do not want the ball to be thrown back to us. What exists now is a pseudo neoform of one-way communication. It maybe communication still because feedback is still present, but not optimal to create learning, reflection and even new valuable information.

It is sad to say that social media has deviated from its original purpose - building social relationships. Instead, it has encouraged one-way flow of communication. People are willing to share information but few may care about how important they are to one. Worse, people are feeling the need to share more in the anticipation that more people will become more interested in initiating a conversation with them; but in reality, this is not happening. One may share but there is no need to build life in social media. What is supposed to be is that we share our life on social media, not live our lives in social media.

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