Relationships in general, are under far too much unnecessary pressure this day and age when it comes to the public eye. There is a lot to live up to and sadly, reality TV and social media can, for the most part, take the blame for this dilemma we find ourselves in.
But, are we blaming our beloved virtual world for all the wrong reasons?
Day to day people don’t always post their problems. They don’t share their fights with the world, and rightfully so. If they did… then how depressing would the news-feeds on all of our social outlets be? Wouldn’t that just assist in making it the ‘in thing’ or the ‘popular way’ to be even more hateful and violent than we already are as a people? That would have the potential to create sort of a virtual competition on who can be the nastiest to one another. It can be said that just because that part of life is also real, it doesn’t mean we want or need it to be more present in social media.
Studies suggest that society as a whole are quick to point the problem causing finger at Facebook, Instagram, etc. for our detachment and a false sense of relation with one another, especially in the younger generations. Saying things like, “Our kids don’t know the difference between what’s real and what isn’t.” As well as things like, “We’re raising a generation of fakes and phonies because all they know are the lies they see on social media.” Comments like these have been made over and over by millions for years.
On one hand, this outlook is accurate. All we do see about people’s private lives are the smiles, the expensive vacations, the awards, and the special occasions. This creates a sense of comparison of each other’s lives. We want what others have. It can make us jealous. It can also compel some to make up lies about their own lives. We want to grasp onto someone else’s moments of glory and keep them as our own. We want the perfect relationship we see our Facebook friends having daily, instead of our own real ones.
On the other hand, this outlook is wrong, and here’s why: It isn’t social media’s job to teach our children what is real and what isn’t. People post the good parts of their lives because that’s the parts that they love and are proud of. Certainly, not everyone’s motives are the same, but so be it. People put on fake smiles in grocery stores and social functions too, just the same as they do on the social media outlets. Does that make it the grocery store’s fault that we found falsehood in the people there?
It’s our job as the caretakers, as parents, as communities, and as loved ones, in general, to teach the younger generation how to decipher genuine interaction… be it in virtual OR reality situations. We all have great times and low times. We all have good thoughts and bad thoughts. People are unique and different, which is why we do at times disagree. Our relationships with one another – be it romantic, parent-child, or otherwise- need to be rooted from a place of balance and understanding in order to succeed. We don’t necessarily need to feed into the question of what’s real and what isn’t in other people based on their Facebook page. We need to put the technology down once in a while and figure it out for ourselves.
It would do society well to make a conscious effort in having person to person interaction regularly in order to figure out the process life. To distinguish that fine line between real and fake relations.
Couples need to make eye contact, and touch and laugh no matter what they see on the outside. Children need to be played with and taught hands-on things by a person they admire, not because of how they’ve seen it online, but because of the emotions, they get when working together in real life. It can be said that all families are better off by way of long-term if they are comfortable in regular conversation in a group setting.
The time has come to stop pointing fingers of blame at the television and social media for our problems because that in and of itself is just as big of a problem. It’s time to accept that we live in a world of technology, there is no sense in making ourselves a victim to it. It is possible to embrace the positives. It is possible to be happy for the moments of glory in others that we have access to always, all the while making our own in real time. The time has come to embrace this day and age for what it is, and make an effort in teaching our children and ourselves how to decipher reality and what is or isn’t genuine.
It’s time to step up and make the changes we need to make in ourselves, and in our own relationships. Let’s do it for the future of humanity. Let’s teach our kids to tell the difference and be genuine, rather than dwell on falsehoods. The virtual world is what it is, and there is little a single person can do about it.
No more pointing fingers and placing blame for our jealousy and sense of false relations. But rather, let’s create human relations in a positive and constructive way. Let’s be examples of reality by our own interactions and relationships. Let’s accept the world for what it is, and do everything in our power to use technology wisely, and guide our future into something great. We deserve reality, and so do our children.
Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she's writing mystery/thrillers like Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians(a trilogy to be). Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and bathing in the desert heat plays an important part of her day to day lifestyle.