Are we like junkies? When I think about Facebook and all the constant posting, I can’t help but wonder is it that we do this because we want to share, inform, or is there some inherent deep need within us to receive some form of acceptance by others even if it’s something as trivial as someone clicking a like button on their computer.
I’ve participated in several social communities on the world wide web from forums, social media like Facebook and Twitter, to online dating services. And, across the board there is some direct and/or indirect channel to impute our acceptance and/or approval upon others. In each case you either have the opportunity to follow, like, or friend someone. Ironically, when I look around in life, I find that social forums definitely reflect pretty much how we interact in real time as well.
Except in real time we don’t necessarily receive a physical/tangible form of acceptance/approval from others. I found myself not once but twice getting to deeply involved in a social forum and getting hooked on the acceptance of others either in the form of like, following, or being befriended. However, after a while I had to take a long hard look at myself because I noticed a little pattern emerging.
Both times I started in the communities just being myself and expressing myself with no concern and/or awareness of being liked, followed, and/or befriended. But as time went on and my “acceptance” grew, I found myself starting to censor who I was for fear of rocking the proverbial social media acceptance boat. It was a hard thing for me to admit but I did and it was a liberating experience indeed.
So liberating that I have absolutely no qualms in sharing it in this blog. After having a serious long hard talk with myself, I recognize that I do this IRL (In Real Life) too depending upon whom I’m interacting with. I also found it to be sooooooo draining of my life force too. I’m finally learning to embrace solitude because it’s in my solitude that I get to sift through the events and experiences of the day and say to myself “yes that’s me” or “no that’s not me”.
It’s in solitude and reflection that I get to give myself likes, follow my intuition, and befriend myself. Too much time in social arenas whether they be virtual or real time will invariably lead to us losing our real selves in search of acceptance. We need time set aside each day for numero uno…ourselves to get realigned with ourselves and with God. Otherwise we get sucked into the downward cycle of wanting to be LIKED!
I find the more time I spend in solitude and reflection the more I can adjust my sails and chart my course in life. I also discovered in solitude and reflection I can connect with my goals, aspirations, vision, and passion. At first all the quietness without the distractions was unsettling but the more I practice this art of stillness the more I’m connecting with and expressing my real self.
Then I come to the social table of life on full and my ability to believe the best about others increase, my benevolence increases, my trust increases, my servitude increase, my love for others increase, and I bring my best self to the world because I’m bringing my authentic self to the world. Because my actions are then governed by my divine expression and unconditional love not by some oppressive self-deceiving illusion of neediness and wanting to belong whether it be consciously and/or unconsciously.
I know most people reading this will blow it off and say that’s not me but before you do….think carefully because your playing feel for LIKE! may not be social media, it may be with your family, job, social network, school,spouse, romantic relationships, church, friendships, etc. I encourage you to engage in self-observation before you decide do you have an inherent need for LIKE!?