Facebook doesn’t replace real life – sometimes we all need a reminder.

I learned today that someone close to me is going through a very difficult personal situation. I had absolutely no idea she was having such a hard time and had been for such a long time. We live across the country and although we don’t talk often, I was lured into the false sense of security that I was keeping tabs on her via Facebook. I know some people post every little bit of their lives on Facebook including all the darkest facets, but I think for most of us those big ticket life situations are left off-line. Occasionally, you get clues something is awry when a relationship status mysteriously changes, or when the person goes into total radio silence, but more often even if you look closely you can’t see the pain on the other end of the connection. In this case there were no clues. Okay, maybe subtle ones if I go back through the posts with the lens of knowing when and what changed in her life, but nothing that would have told me at the time that I needed to reach out and offer my support.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a die-hard fan of Facebook and I have certainly reconnected with people I never would have found any other way. And sometimes it does reveal things about some friends I did not know in real life – like political views or religious beliefs.

But at the end of the day, Facebook does not replace making real connections where you share your true joys and sorrows with each other. In short, Facebook doesn’t replace real life. Is there someone across the internet airwaves that you haven’t talked to in awhile? Just this once, maybe it’s time to pick up the phone instead of the mouse…

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One Comment on “Facebook doesn’t replace real life – sometimes we all need a reminder.”

  1. Mark Maraia says:

    Lyda,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your post. I think all social media creates this false sense of intimacy with others. As I have started to share with my clients, social media such as LinkedIn, FB and Twitter is no substitute for phone calls and meetings with people who are dear to us (friend and client alike). Those analog type of interactions can be maximized by asking meaningful (high-energy) questions rather than just talking about same old stuff. It is amazing to me how perfunctory we can get (almost robot like) in our analog interactions.

    Mark


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