Maybe the reason why some people would prefer to ignore those in front of them in favor of refreshing their social media feed is because it’s easier.
It’s easier to get the illusion of impressing people through the countable amount of likes, tweets, and shares compared to the uncountable qualitative time, energy and honest efforts it takes to truly cultivate impressions through meaningful conversations. One would have to go through all those head-scratching silences, awkward introductions, and complicated social protocols. Even if one gets pass this, one still have to find a way to connect- a common interest, say, or a common vulnerability. Then there’s miscommunication and space that needs to be calculated in. Compare that to the posting of a picture, the sending of short texts, it’s not hard to see why people opt for the snaps- they are instantaneous, cheap, and easy.
Then there’s the issue of appearing weak. Human being simply cannot connect on a deeper level without expressing vulnerability to a certain degree, and that’s scary as hell. It is like putting your naked self into the open with knives laid out next to you and a sign saying, “Hey, stab me if you like. There’s really no legal consequences.” Maybe that’s why we opt for posting a selfie of our beach body rocking the summer vibes, or our smiling faces when we receive our degree in glamorous caps and gowns instead. We would rather put our best, strongest self forward because people won’t really stab an armor-clad, and seemingly untouchable knight,
On top of that, there’s also our tendency, no, more like innate nature to be heard, to be acknowledged. Countless bas-reliefs which must have taken hours of specialized skills to perfect, portraits which must have required excruciating days of sitting perfectly still to finish, and most recently, quick snapshots are all our vain attempts to cast a stone of our existence into the enormous rushing seemingly endless river of time.
“Hey,” we seem to say, “I’m here. Look at me.”
Remember my name.
And memorize my tender smile, children of the future.