Sunday, October 9, 2011

Social Networking - Excuse for a generation in denial

Is social networking getting to know and interact with people, a group with similar interests?

Well I am talking about the perception of this term before the 'like' and '+1' culture.

Be it the online blog view counts, clicks on Adsense or the +1 (which I think is another way of saying you 'like'), the conformity is governing the way you think or the way you nurture your thinking. Now conforming to the standards already set in a group is one thing, but adjusting your standards depending on the acceptance of your thinking and activities in a group is other. Moreover the group formed in the current social media is not based on a common interest, but is a random collection of people you have met, interacted, best buddies, family members, acquaintances and some profiles with pictures you can flaunt to have in your friend list (though deep inside you really wish those people were your real friends or better friends with 'benefits').

Lost in an ocean of likes, shares, posts and updates we hardly acknowledge the original creator of the work. Most of what we share are from other's profiles. We highly weigh our thoughts before we post to see if it will be appreciated. In essence we render ourselves as standup comedians who tailor their lines based on the real time feedback from the people. Anything that is met with silence has to be changed by the comedian. Thus anything that goes unnoticed, in your perspective, loses it's worth.

While browsing through the content online, we invariably check what is liked or commented the most, who responded how to what, and then form out opinion about the content. We look to others to bolster our opinion about things and unknowingly alter our thoughts to go with the majority. The statistics of the likes and comments in response to what we post becomes a guideline for the next. The way you think is being ruled from outside, shouldn't it be from inside? Shouldn't it be what 'we' really feel or by what our true opinions are? A true personal opinion gets discarded by self just by thinking that this won't be accepted in the social network.

Everybody knows the reason why we do this. We want to be followed, we want to be famous, we want to be loved, we want to be appreciated in everything we do. Although this is normal tendency to feel this, the pursuit to be 'cool' is becoming an evil that will one day kill the dignity, self-esteem, power of reason and ability to respect which is only gained by thinking independently. You can go an entire lifetime without realizing the worth of these words but it is a choice that you need to make.

Social networking is a great creation, for you to put forth your ideas, your true thoughts. Share what is important to you, not what the people want to hear. Acknowledge the creator of the art and not the person who shares it. Think, form your own opinions rather than going by the number of likes and comments on something. It will be the most unfortunate day in the history of mankind, if man, empowered with the beautiful ability to think and create, be owned by his creations and loses ownership of self.

It will terribly disappoint me if you 'like' this article.

"Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." - Steve Jobs

1 comment:

  1. Having reread the article once more, here are some thoughts:
    Social Networking, with it's many flaws, has been able to bring the world very close, with exchange of ideas possible by a mere few seconds and 140 character updates. In such scenarios, often we communicate to reiterate what someone we adore has said or expressed in some form. I think that if I like something and share - not that my friends will think highly of me or even think for a moment that everything I post like or share is my work - but will rather take more notice of some thought or idea being expressed in some certain way because one of their friends has corroborated it. It may not appeal to each and every friend but here's hoping that a handful of them will read/see and pass it on to a handful more. When someone posts something original, one might take it as a collective expression of human spirit and advancement and post without making the whole channel of shares evident on the profile. After a while, when an idea starts spreading like wildfire, it becomes impossible or even irrelevant to share the original source.

    Also, what is wrong with sharing something that I know will make people like me or accept me a little more? I want to be liked, I like to be loved and I love to be accepted, respected. That is what also motivates me in turn to like what I do, accept what I am and respect others.

    I have a friend who thinks she cannot express by writing on her own. But she likes to like others' post. When I write something, I almost always know she is going to like it, or tell me personally, that she likes it. I think what she likes there is one's ability to express in words, and when she presses the like button, I just hope after one such likes, she decides to write, because she has so much in her to be written down for the world to read!

    Just some line of thoughts...I agree with most part of your article, just think that it is not always applicable or even possible.

    @Steve Jobs - if they somehow know what I truly want to become, I wouldn't have to do anything to accelerate or oppose the will guide me there eventually.