Social Media has changed our world, it has changed how we communicate with one another and to some extent is a part of living that cannot be removed from the millennial. It has become more than a tool of communication for some people, it is now a lifestyle – they live, breathe, eat, drink, sleep, wake, think and walk Social Media. How is that so?
Communication we always say starts from the womb when a child speaks with the mother through movements and kicks, so we can also conclude that everyone wants to communicate with other people.
This desire is the reason why like the development of the human race, means or channels of communication keeps improving and changing from time to time.
For the millennial reading this, let me tell you that communication didn’t start with Facebook or social media, it started with sign languages by cavemen, then symbols like writings and far back in Africa here, towns and villages sent out messages by talking drums, gongs etc.
Even before the letter mode of communication, men have been using signs, symbols and writings on papyrus papers to pass information.
Advanced communication started with the telegraph used to send out messages to distant lands and places. With this, people waited for months before getting a reply to their message. Then we had letter which telecommunication have successfully buried. And here comes the new one – social media.
Why all these history? Simple, man has always craved one-to-one communication which though offered by the social media, yet many other things are missing.
As much as social media is a great platform to reach people we never thought we could, it’s impact on face-to-face conversations is huge and catastrophic. A new trend is going on where people are asking: if you log out of social media, will you still have friends? Unfortunately, most people answer no to that, so we see the future from this glimpse.
Personally, I believe in the power of social media for marketing purposes and networking with the larger community of humanity but relationship wise, nothing beats a face to face conversation. But let me shock you more, in real life there’s the possibility that we cannot talk, share conversations with 50% of those we chat endlessly online.
This brings me to a shaky conclusion, being good at social media conversations does not suggest we will be in real life.
Convey People’s Actual Intensions in Conversations
In my last four to five years of active social media engagement, I have found two things in common with online conversations, it’s either ones actual intensions when writing a text, message or post is erroneously perceived or totally misunderstood. For face to face conversations, it’s easier to judge someone’s opinion because you hear and see them speak, so you understand their mannerisms when they make a statement or pass a comment but for social media, we only hear and many times we hear wrong because emotions and bias play lots of intrigue in communication. By this, before reacting to what someone said online or posted on their status, we should ask: Do I understand what he/she is saying? Do I really understand their intentions and probably too, what are the emotions visible here?
Show Right Mood and Feeling
Just in line with the above, though someone can put up their mood as ‘happy’ on Facebook, are they really happy? We are most times telling Branded stories which is not limited to celebrities. Talking with someone, she made me understand that as undergraduate, her friends will dress-up, go to beautiful locations and take pictures which they post online. Then they would return to the crib most times, they don’t have a kobo in their pockets – all they have are phones that can help them create illusion of the kind of life they wish they have. So when they write some crazy captions, we begin to doubt our own reputation. Go check them out in real life and tell me the truth.
Tell Someone’s Hidden Intensions
People post under different guise and intentions, they say one thing and mean another. How can you even tell who is telling the truth and not when you’ve never met them beyond the walls of their pages. Someone crawls into your DM and goes all lovey-dovey on you, how do you know they’re real about it? We’ve heard gory stories of people who believed their online friends had real intentions for them and ended up being victims. Who tells the truth on social media?
Show What People Are Going Through
Isn’t this obvious already, there’s no way to know what the slay queens are going through because you cannot find ugly faces online. Everyone wants to be in their best selves socially, they understand that life is hard but in the world of social media, who is ready to hear your woe stories? So, the best alternative is to be what everyone wants them to be. How awful? This has created a gap and the very beginning of suicidal thoughts. Imagine someone whose life revolves around his online friends and when he is down because he knows they won’t take him serious, he keeps his pains to himself and loses himself to depression and if it gets worse, suicide. He can’t communicate with his real life friends – does he even have one and his family don’t know how to approach him because the only place he communicates with them is on WhatsApp and he keeps the charade of all being well until disaster crashes. Huh!
Everyone is selling market online if you ask me, and one thing about sellers is that no matter how spoilt their goods, products, market or whatever they’re selling, they always present them in nice packages. A girl connects with a cool guy, he lives abroad and his profile is just so adorable and shows he has a comfortable life, she falls for him and one thing led to the other, the guy is asking for marriage and because they’ve talking, chatting online, she is convinced he is the one. Tick tock, they’re married, two months down the line, she’s a woman beater, now she’s wondering how he changed so fast. Please can you help her out?
Reveal True Nature
Many of us confuses people’s social lifestyle with who they are, especially for the celebrities we follow. The truth is there’s a social nature and the real nature that we all fall back to when the camera goes off. Many of the social agitators are like saints in real life but when they come online they can shatter a whole nation with their pen. Not until you live and talk face to face with them before you know whether they’re fire or eyes. Oh, what about the die-hard feminist?
One’s Living Condition and Lifestyle
Like those friends of my friend, everyone protects their living conditions from the eyes of the online community for many good and some selfish reasons. Many girls will rather pose in front of someone else’s gate or toilets of good restaurants just so they can belong. To some extent, posing in your locality is not very advisable for security purposes but we know some just don’t want to be seen as poor so they make it up. Also, you can’t tell who lives a dirty life by looking at there status or conversing with them – by dirty, I mean hygiene not in terms of fast-lane life.
Final thoughts, communication goes beyond voice and talk which is why the above list was made up. From all indicators, some of the items like living conditions is an unspoken form of communication, etc. Social Media is fantastic but life shouldn’t start and end there.