Always Connected (Except When I’m Not)

You go through life, and you can often find two views on social media: there are those who are always connected, always talking, always posting, and then there are those who won’t come within a mile of the stuff, thinking it a corrosive influence that eats away at their psyches, at their self-reliance, at their ability to be just them, without the world watching. You can find people like this, find them all over, and they’ll both have very compelling reasons for feeling and behaving the way they do. “It’s like I’m always with my friends,” they might say, or “I just feel that it’s all so impersonal, reducing me to snapshots. I need to be me.”

Then, of course, there are your third kind of people. The kind of people that are probably the most common, really, but it bears putting into words anyway. These are the people that can balance┬áthe two more extreme views, who can, in fact, do both. These are the people that see the value in social media, who can pop onto Facebook or Snapchat or what have you, and chat with their friends and laugh at the newest cat video and share bits of their lives with the rest of the world, but who can also put the phone down, log off, go for a walk or read a book or play video games, just take some time to themselves and maybe be alone with their thoughts for a while, or go out and talk to people in the real world. The dichotomy is simple, when you think about it. It makes sense. We are inherently social animals, and the desire to be connected to a group, a community, is intrinsic to our nature. It’s simply how we’re wired. But at the same time, we’re also individuals, and it’s natural for us to want to go out and do our own things. And so we’re connected, unless we aren’t. We’re on our own, unless we’re not.

We’re human.

We’re complex.

And that’s how it should be.