Connectivity. Connectedness. That’s all people want sometimes. In this very busy world of work, work, work, where everything seems to change rapidly and move faster, it is the only thing that is sometimes amiss from our lives. We yearn for connection and having connections with people who have similar interests to us, who find us attractive, and who enjoy conversing with us.
Sometimes life gets monotonous. It’s all a game of workouts at the gym, work, eat, sleep and travel. Occasionally, we will hang out at our favorite bar or club and wait for that handsome or beautiful stranger to sit next to us, just like in the movies. What proceeds next, of course, is for them to ask us what we are drinking, so that they can order another one for us. This little gesture will then launch the evening into an amazing conversation so that by the end of the night, we will either be in each other’s arms looking out from the pier into the ocean, or staring into the eyes of a new lover, wrapped in their bed sheets. But what happens in movies, doesn’t always relate to real life.
That’s where fantasy comes in. On Facebook, you get to escape into a new “reality”, excuse the irony. One can become whoever they want to. They can Photoshop their profile picture to look as beautiful as they want and to connect with strangers from all over the globe.
I remember when I lived at home and watched the posts of one of my “friends” who had decided to immigrate. Her new life looked so glamorous. She was exercising the whole time in the most beautiful locations. Her new life looked so glamorous. Every picture was a new image with new friends and a trendy work-space. Pictures of gorgeous landscapes laid bare and travels to distant lands looked so alluring. New cuisines, belonging to a new culture, looked so inviting and delicious. It was so enticing that it honestly inspired me to risk it all and immigrate myself, mainly because I was completely inspired by this “friend” whose life looked so magical on the other side.
Back to connectivity. In a new country, you don’t always just make friends – especially when the home language is not your own and you happen to be kind of shy and tend towards introversion. Although I had a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend at the time, I would go up to six months without physically seeing him. I went, what seemed like, forever without being touched, not a hug – not even a kiss on the cheek. I remember times when I felt so “untouched”, it was unbearable. I would pay my masseuse friend to come out and massage me just so that I could “connect” with another human being and be physically “embraced”.
But in-between those lonely spells there was always Facebook. Facebook was there inviting me to parties they knew I would be interested in. Men and women connected with me because we shared common interests. I read all the news I really cared about – not all the negative, political rubbish that is forced down our throats through propaganda media. People would post things and it would make me laugh. I would share things and people would “click” with what I had to say. I did have a stalker, though, that decided it was perfectly fine to publish a poem online to his 5000 friends about his desire for me (creepy!!!) – but thankfully, Facebook lets you block that sort of thing straight away.
Facebook is there for me twenty-four hours of the day. Now it advertises things I want to see – things I actually end up buying because they have a brilliant marketing team and some of the finest brains on the planet working for them. I always have someone to talk to. Every day I get to laugh because there is always something funny to look at.
Of course there are different personalities on Facebook, namely: the Pessimist who comments on everything in a highly negative way and just leaves a bad taste in the mouth; the Sarcastic joker – similar to the pessimist but uses wit to describe the situation; the Positive sunshine “bunny” where everything is unicorns, rainbows, angels and fluffy clouds; the Realist who is just practical and gives a very analytical opinion about everything and, of course, unfortunately, the Psycho/Stalker – beware, please beware.
Of course, I can’t not mention the “Don Juan’s” and “Bombshells” who “friend” every hot and half naked person they see in the hope that they can see more of their pictures and eventually end up in their beds.
But what is Facebook for me? I see it as the greatest tool on Earth for connecting with family and friends all over the globe. Before Facebook, it would just be expensive phone calls and eventually e-mails to keep “in touch”. But now, it is so easy to keep connected with loved ones that one almost takes its availability for granted.
All I have to say is thank goodness for Facebook. Who knows where this amazing social media platform will take us in the future.