I was walking down the street the other day and passed a woman whom I recognized but we barely acknowledged one another. Within seconds this wave of emotion came over me because we have been “friends” on Facebook for years. Here was this person that I know personal information about and her about me and we hardly gave one another the time of day! I think I have even “liked” her posts in the past and shown emotion to her there, but why didn’t I choose to stop her and say hello?
It made me think back to my twenty year High School reunion last year and my thoughts leading up to it. How fun it would be to reminisce about the past because we already had the small talk out of the way about what we have been up to because of social media. What I discovered was somewhat shocking. Even though people knew darn well about others lives, some pretended not to. People who have commented on my posts about what cute kids I have asked me in person if I have kids. WTF?
Racking my brain there are two reasons I came up with. Number one, we are “too cool for school” and acting like we don’t know what someone has been up to is way cooler than looking nosy or interested. Or number two, we are terrified to be vulnerable and have someone reject us if we make the first move. If I stopped that woman on the street and gave her a hug, would she reject me or think I’m some sort of weirdo?
Thinking back, every time I have stuck my neck out and acknowledged someone first, I have never failed. Acting like we don’t care is really pretty dumb because being “friends” with them means we do. I’ve also realized that when someone I barely knew took a chance and acknowledged me first, it felt really good and opened me up to the next person I encountered. Connection is a powerful thing and initiating connection is a noble trait.
Have any of you ever experienced the phenomena of hiding behind social media? Please comment.
About Charles Perry
Charles is a bit of a renaissance man, a citizen of the planet, a building inspector by trade, devoted father & husband and one of the funniest people he knows. He is deeply passionate about peace, social justice and respect and equality for all living creatures. Charles thought up the World Minded ideology several years ago and has made it his goal to inspire people around the world to care for themselves, others and the planet we share by exposing what’s right in the world. He resides in the Eastern Sierras and loves life in the mountains, but longs for the beach because of some ridiculous “grass is always greener” notion.