online social networks have killed my real-life relationships. i was struck by this horrifying revelation just a few minutes ago as i looked through my tweets. there were some from people i feel like i’ve known all my life but really have only ever met in person perhaps once or twice. we exchanged @s like old friends but in reality our relationship is defined solely by our flawed interpretations of each other’s lives and personalities. none of it is real.
then i looked at the friends i do see in the flesh. the circle has remained stagnant for the last couple of years. sure, i haven’t gone anywhere and the curse of being in a purely medical science-based institution is that the variety of people i meet is severely limited. although the people i interact with daily are pretty decent and some are downright sweet, it begs the question why i find it so hard to make new friends and build on existing relationships.
i have facebook, twitter, gmail and this blog to blame. like a friend commented recently on her blog – great, now i have to read blogs to know what the heck is up with people, sigh – sometimes my virtual diary is my most faithful companion, the one place i pour my heart to. nevermind the shoulders that are ever ready for me to cry on, the willing ears that care to hear me whine. my excuse is that i am better off expressing myself in the written word because then, at least, i don’t have to worry about overstepping the line and have a trusty “backspace” key to edit whatever i have to say.
it’s safer that way. safer to the alternative of being open about who i am, what i think, how i feel. my virtual self is one who lols at the most uncomfortable of statements. in my online personality, i get to add and remove whatever applications i want without any repercussions.
online social networking has killed my real-life relationships. i want them back.