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