A Billion Friends and Zero Connections

On October 4th, 2012, an unprecedented event occurred across the world. This event was not a day of political change or economic change, but this was a day of a social change. Through the incredible progress of technology, October 4th marked the day that will continue to define lives and generations. For on this past Thursday, the social media network Facebook officially registered its billionth user. Stated from a BBC article published on October 5th, Facebook now has “over 1.13 trillion ‘likes,’ 219 billion photos, and 17 billion check-ins.” With users logging in from all over the globe, Facebook and social media has become one of the most popular forms of communication on the planet.  

From observing this massive expansion of social media, it would seem as though our society is more connected to each other than ever before. Through Facebook and other social network sites, we have been given more opportunity to communicate and interact with others than any other generation has. We can post, print, and tag on each other’s wall instantaneously, and comment on their activities just as fast. And yet, for all of the connections that social media creates, we feel even more separated and disconnected than ever before. Why is that? 

How is it even possible that a billion people, who have engaged in social networking to create meaningful connections with others, still feel so separated from each other? In essence, it begins with the most basic element: the message. In the simplest truth, the purpose of having conversations and being connected to others is to send and receive our messages. As these messages that we type, text, and tweet serve as our verbalized thoughts and desires, every word is being sent out for the world to lean and listen. So, what are the messages that we are sending out? Are they ones that continue to separate us, or are they ones that actually might bring us together?   

If you ever felt the messages you posted online only created further division, further guilt, further fear, then know that you CAN change the message that you put out into the world. By simply being aware of messages that either bring people together or drives them apart is a step in a new direction. Social media doesn’t have to be used to boast accomplishments and events of one over another, but rather can be used to bring the two together. We have the ability to connect with the billions of other social media users, as long as we are willing to create those connections. You CAN choose, in every post, in every tweet, to bring a message of unity and understanding into everything you say and write. You CAN choose to promote love and unity, and let your words reflect it. Your message is a reflection of Who You Are, and your expression of Who You Are. It’s just your choice on the extent you want to express it. 

As Facebook now has a billion users, social media is becoming more complex and interconnected than anything else we have ever known socially. As each of its billion users will choose the message they send out into the world, they will decide which path they will follow. But as we decide our own path, we can start to choose messages that create those deeper connections and higher conversations that will interact with billions of other users. So next time you go to update your status, remember the words you send will be literally sent into the world. Check your messages often. 

(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

           

 

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  • Buzz

    Well said!

  • sunseed

    excellent piece, lauren…thank you 😀

  • Deborah

    YES!