There are so many different types of social media out there for so many different things and people. There’s social networks, anonymous messaging apps, social news, dating apps, bookmarking sites, etc…
I think its easy to forget what the point of it all was in the first place. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it to make us all feel more connected?
What does it even mean to “be connected?” Does it mean you’re connecting when you see/like/comment on an album or photo or a status update or tweet? Does it mean you’re connecting when you post a photo or status or tweet?
Sometimes, when it comes to social media, the only thing I want to connect is my fist to the computer screen. I’m talking pointless statuses, exaggerated self importance, selfie after selfie…the list goes on.
Is all that really connection or is it narcissism and self promotion?
I call this piece “Aggressively Liking Stuff”
Even the word “network” has a negative connotation. Networking feels as though you’re befriending someone because eventually you want something from them. When you think about it though, isn’t that why we post pictures and updates, etc.? Because we want likes and validation and affirmation? We want so much from these sites that we’ve even come to rely on them for a sense of belonging that they can’t fully provide.
Connection and bonding are inherent human needs. I’m serious! Look it up. So what happens when we’re presented with a false sense of belonging? We become lonelier and instead become connected with these sites themselves, rather than our friends who use them. Then, that can turn into a deadly addiction. Okay, maybe not deadly, but probably not healthy.
(Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t abstain from social media. I might even be guilty of a shameless(ful?) selfie or two. It can be fun and it’s satisfying when your “friends” and followers like or comment on your postings…but that’s not to be confused with connection and belonging.)
Then there’s recently popular anonymous messaging apps which seek to solve the problem of inauthenticity by allowing users to be anonymous. This gives users the freedom to be candid and express themselves in way that they aren’t able to on their public profiles. That’s great! Until people use it for gossip and bullying and start sharing gruesomely personal information. Also, when people are anonymous they say some really weird stuff…
TBH, I don’t feel connected to any of these people with weird anonymous statuses…
To me connection means engaging in an authentic and meaningful dialogue with someone whom you may or may not know. This is rare these days. How often do you stop someone on the street and really get to know them? How often do you engage with someone on a social media site and get to know who they really are instead of their carefully scripted online persona?
Maybe these social networks have distracted us from what’s really important — true friends that we can really be ourselves with.
Spongebob and Patrick — a friendship that transcends space, time and social media.
— Enter Chatous –One app to rule them all.
In a one on one conversation without a public profile it’s a bit easier to be yourself and speak your mind. One user told me Chatous was like having an interactive online diary. A place you can go to share yourself and your life and learn from others along the way. I might be biased…okay I’m definitely biased, but to me a place that fosters and encourages this type of “connecting” is truly unique in a world of constant and unending social interaction.
Although Chatous might not have as many users as other social media sites, that doesn’t make it irrelevant.
Can I interest anyone in a dose of reality?
The truth is it doesn’t matter how many users you have or how many followers you have or how many likes you get. What matters is the quality of your interactions. If even just two people met on Chatous and found a meaningful relationship, I’d consider that a success.
Take, for example, this blog, if the two people who read it (my mom and one other user) find it enjoyable, then I’ve done my job.
Chatous is about enriching your life. Your life becomes enriched through connection. I’m serious! Look it up.
Just in case you were confused by any of this, I made this helpful infographic.
Now get out there and connect!