It’s not so much that social media itself creates disconnect, but rather the way we use it.
“Authenticity is required for connection. The internet and social media do not disconnect us because we are glued to our phones at the dinner table but because they increase our ability to be inauthentic. They allow us to gloat, edit, filter, and post a highlight reel. We can construct a façade of our lives that may or may not be an honest reflection of reality.
In this, we breech connection.”
It is true. That’s why, as awful as the last six weeks have been, dealing with the passing of both my mother in law and my father in law in such a short time frame, they have also showed me that those tools, which are designed to connect us, can actually do that. Sharing the news, the funeral details, etc. has nothing to do with boasting about how great life is. Writing those posts sucks, sharing those kinds of events is painful, but it sure is authentic. And when people reach across the internet to share their prayers, love and support, that’s connection.
It may not be the same as being there in person to offer a hug, a shoulder to cry on, provide a meal, or do some other task to help us as we grieve, but it is a connection. It’s not gloating, it’s not filtered, it’s digital and real.
Maybe, we can just share our humanity instead of our “best lives” and our politics on social media?
Or maybe not.