Breaking news, people: Social media is not real life.
I’m unsure how, but our society has “evolved” to a point where our existence has been limited to a tweet, a Snapchat or an Instagram story. People have begun to feel more entitled to the lives of others and have been brainwashed to believe that a mutual follow holds the same weight as a friendship.
Your friends can fall off the face of the Earth and never reach out to you in times of need, but still claim to be your friend due to the fact you guys are social media friends. This makes absolutely no sense.
I consider myself a very low-maintenance friend. I enjoy time alone, so if my friends aren’t in the mood to kick it with me sometimes, I won’t necessarily get upset. I understand that people can be busy or tired or sometimes simply just aren’t in the mood to do anything. But, regardless of how little effort it takes to be my friend, there are still qualifications for being a good one.
I expect my friends to be my friends in real life. Real friends go beyond commenting an occasional heart-eye emoji under your selfies every once and a while. I don’t care if my so-called friend likes my tweets, swipes up on my story or anything of that matter.
Were you there for me when I needed you? Have you reached out to me recently? Do you know what’s going on in my life?
“No. But I comment on your pictures?”
I. Don’t. Care.
Social media has ruined us to the point where we can’t see past our phone screen. We are so absorbed in this fake world that social media has created, we forget what it means to be a friend — or even a person.
For most of us, this has been going on since we were young teenagers. According to a study done on 3,560 high school students in Connecticut, about 30 percent of people who use social media use it for more than 15 hours a week. If you do the math, this means that 30 percent of people are spending almost 33 days a year using social media.
Imagine sitting on your couch, scrolling through Twitter for a month straight. No wonder people consider social media such a big deal.
It has come to the point to where some people may suffer from social media anxiety disorder. They may feel inclined to stop mid-conversation to check their social media or even feel anxiety if they go too long without checking their notifications.
If people feel this invested in their social media accounts — perhaps even more invested than they are in their own reality — they may equate the relationship they have with their social media followers to an in-person friendship.
This isn’t to say that you can’t make friends on social media, or that you can’t use it to keep in touch with old or far-away friends.
But what you need to keep in mind is that there is more to life than that little blue button.
Friendships take more effort than a simple double-tap. Real friends deserve more than that.When it comes to friends that you value, make sure you’re being a good friend and not just a good follower.