I have been wanting to write about social media and its use for a while. For years I didn’t want to engage in having a (which has now become a social norm) social media account. Eventually I gave up and created an account on Facebook as everyone around me including my friends were using it. To be honest, it was a new world to me almost like everyone else, as it was a new place, you weren’t always aware of the rules and social expectations, how to respond to awkward situations so at times hilarity ensued but I digress, as my use of social media increased the quality of my personal relationships suffered and I noticed that very clearly, same was happening with people around me.
Now don’t get me wrong, its reassuring to know that someone cares about you (even if it is from behind a screen), but as we are social creatures our ability to see the nuances and subtleties in emotional responses of our friends and family is an important one (hence the popularity of emojis) and communication through social media or text messaging doesn’t always provide that.
We are social creatures and our ability to see the nuances in emotional responses and expressions of our friends and family are an important one, we are biologically ingrained to engage certain parts of our brains through those interactions. That’s how we are wired. Social media is not really conducive to that at this stage.
Nature works in mysterious ways, it knows the limits of its creatures and also knows exactly what is needed for evolution so provides all the tools & tricks necessary for evolutionary cycle maybe to the point humans reach the level of a jellyfish. Yes, you read that right. Medusozoa AKA jellyfish goes through stages of being a fertilised egg, then a larvae, a polyp and then a jellyfish. Now upto this point it follows a very similar pattern to lots of other species for its evolutionary progress but the next one is very interesting. If in its lifecyle, it cannot find food or finds the surrounding environment to be stressful or unsuitable for survival, it reverses the cycle until it becomes a cyst. This cyst can access and reactivate genetic instructions from earlier in its lifecycle (jellyfish version of Reincarnation perhaps) can create polyp cells which starts the process again from that stage onwards. Scientists say that theoretically this can go on infinitely. Now as a average human at least I must be able to make choices that help me evolve and remove any characteristics that hinder my potential to be the best version of myself and I have to be able to do that constantly by being conscious of my choices and adapt accordingly.
To make a point based on my rant above, I believe social media is another way for cosmos to evolve humanity to the next level. Humans are social creatures but also prone to be extremely self-absorbed and impatient which means that perhaps those are the exact vices needed in abundance to get us to understand and eventually overcome. With modern social media scene and ongoing instant-gratification subculture both those characteristics are played to the hilt causing all sorts of disruptions in peoples lives. Those disruptions will cause people to self-reflect (hopefully) until they learn the lessons needed to grow into a better people. From a higher perspective its a simple matter of cause and effect.
I care a lot more about personal connections than using social media to interact with other intelligent beings as I believe quality of the interactions is much more important than how many times you interact with people. Eventually my use for social media dropped to a point that I still use social media to stay connected to friends, organise events and as an additional tool, observing different perspectives about the world.
Having said that Social media is a double edged sword (like any other tool in true sense of the word). On one side I mentioned its use can turn lives upside down on the other side can be used to kick start change as was in the case of most popular “twitter revolution” of Arab spring.
Social media is a very powerful tool hence requires a very conscious use. We have to adapt for the good of ourselves and have enough self-awareness to ascertain if we are using a tool or the tool is using us.
The whole point of the post is that to become as awesome as a jellyfish, we have to adapt for the good of ourselves and have enough self-awareness to ascertain if we are using a tool or the tool is using us. In that way the legacy through our work we leave here will live longer than our limited time on this planet. I will talk about that legacy and how you can start to build it in another post.