I've been pondering recently...
Social media makes life - even personal life - oddly impersonal. We click "like" and feel like we've REALLY supported someone (emotionally, or in their work), instead of actually giving real tangible support. For example, someone is fundraising for a project or a charity, or showing their artwork, and we click "like" and feel like we did something good to support them, when really we did nothing. We no longer feel any obligation to actually put our energy or money where our mouth (or mouse?) is. We don't really show up for people.
We post our thoughts and feel like we're actually talking to people, but when we read people's posts, we feel like they weren't really trying to communicate with us. So few people will actually respond to a meaningful or heartfelt post in any earnest or genuine way. We'd rather assume it wasn't for us, or maybe we feel uncomfortable, and we decide it's best to do nothing.
It's sad - it's only contributing to our isolation and loneliness in a time when we should be more connected than ever. We "share" a post by a faceless corporation. Then we ignore something that someone we know in real life posts. We see our "friend" is sad, and scroll past it. Why does this feel okay?
I've been challenging myself for the past several months to do just that little bit more - if someone I know in real life, in my community has a project they are fundraising for, even though I don't have a lot of cash to throw around, I'll chip in even five bucks and share their post. It's much more meaningful than 0 bucks and a "like". If I see a good friend is sad, I'll message them and check in. If it's more of a medium-friend, I'll comment and show some support. They're reaching out, and it's not okay to just scroll past - if you don't care enough to say something supportive, consider whether this person really is a "friend" and if not, why you maintain this superficial connection with them.
And it should go without saying, don't be a dick to people online - they have real feelings that are being hurt when you do.
We all need to challenge ourselves just that little bit more to remember there are real people behind each little profile picture, and that it's better for everyone if we try to treat those real people online more like we would if this crazy internet world didn't exist in the first place.
Push yourself - reach out, help, in whatever way you can even if it seems small. It's always better than nothing.