As the world gets sucked deeper and deeper into a technological abyss, humans are moving further and further away from reality. And this is evident in the way they now interact with each other, whether it’s through texting, e-mailing, or instant messaging. And if that isn’t enough, websites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter haven’t made things any better either. People now have the ability to meet online, “date” online, and “break-up” online, ALL without ever having seen eachother face-to-face, nor met up in real life. Of course, I never consider such “relationships” real to begin with. I mean what’s real about them anyway? They’re all based on illusions – a fantasy that ends in a whiff once the couple snaps back to reality.
However, besides online “love” relationships, the thing that’s really been bothering me lately is online friendships. For me, this isn’t really a problem, but more so an annoyance; as a matter of fact, I find online friendships far more annoying than online dating. The reason being is that when people date online, there is usually some kind of intent involved; intent to marry; intent to have a fling/affair; intent to have some kind of relationship that would result in benefiting both parties involved.
Most online platonic friendships, on the other hand, have no real intent, if any, for that matter. And even if they do, what good is it if you’ve never actually MET the person? What’s even worse is when people have more online friends than real life ones. I am not implying that it’s bad or that people should refrain from having online friends that they met either through Facebook, online forums, or some other online portal. No, that’s not my argument. My argument is that of creating illusions of friends (whom you’ve never met in real life, mind you), and revolving your world around them, while completely ignoring the friends you have in real life.
I am not going to lie. I, too, have met friends online that are now very, very dear and close to me. However, this “closeness” did not develop online. Rather, I was able to acquire this closeness ONLY after I met them in person, face-to-face. In the past I’d made friends online, but that was where it ended. They were never my “good” friends, nor remotely close to me. They were just people I happened to know online. I guess I was just indifferent, because I knew I would never meet them in person, nor did I ever have the desire to. And the people I have met in person were people who impressed me from the get go. I knew I’d want to meet these people someday – the sooner the better of course – and thankfully, it never took long for that to happen. But what irks me are people who ignore their real life friends, friends they’ve known for years and years, for people they just met online. And these are the types of people whose mission in life is to maintain (or increase) their online friends by as many as possible. It’s almost like some pathetic popularity contest, the more friends they have, the more loved and popular they are. And it’s just so incredibly juvenile.
Anyway, all I am saying that one needs to have a fine balance and learn to distinguish between what is real and what isn’t. It’s perfectly okay to have online friends, but as long as you don’t revolve your entire essence around them. I know sometimes we meet people online that we totally click with, but we also need to realize that we haven’t met this person face-to-face. How do we even know if this person really is what she/he claims to be? And why should we give up our real life friends, people we’ve known through high school, university, mutual friends, work, etc. for these onliners that we know absolutely nothing about?
Hence, it really seems like we humans have completely lost touch with reality. No one cares to call anymore, because they’d rather text instead. No one cares to meet in person anymore, ‘cause they’d rather Instant Message instead. And not too many people want to make the effort to go out and meet new people, either through volunteering, workshops, or communal social gatherings; because they know they can do that simply with a click of a button from the comfort of their homes.
Yes, the world is advancing rapidly, technologically, but it’s declining horribly, socially. Soon humans won’t need other humans to interact with anymore. They will simply make do with a computerized robot. Heck, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that were to happen in the very near future. I mean some people have already made their laptops, blackberries/iphones, and ipads their best friends. Go figure!