Most of our usage of the Internet today is on this or that Social Networks. That’s where we find News, meet our friends, discuss politics, share thoughts, feelings, opinions.
There’s nothing wrong or even new about it. In some way or another we’ve been doing it since childhood. Granted, we didn’t do it Online. But we did it anyway.
For me, it was entire afternoons and evenings, interrupted only for a quick hop home to have diner, spent on a Café with friends. The news source would be the TV, but, the commentary, the opinions, the discussion, happened right there, in heated debates that no one ever won, with preposterous and cantankerous opinions emitted in ever louder voices as the evening went on. That’s where I learned “How to be Social”. I suck at it. Especially when the subject was Sports, in our particular case “Football” that thing that Americans call “Soccer”. I never felt more outcast than when the discussion of the day was about Sports. In those days I would stay silent, watching in awe how my friends turned in these statistics geniuses, how they could perform mathematical predictions accurately, how they had memorized each and every result of their team from years before they were born. I had no clue if they were right or wrong, nor did I care, I was in awe of their brilliance. Because there wasn’t any subject in which I could do something similar. The best I could do was stay silent and leave earlier. Shaking my head and wondering what made me different.
Nowadays, anyone can be “correct” while having a similar discussion, all you need is to open another tab in your browser and fact check everything, drowning any opposing voices with links (that they will not click) that apparently support your affirmations.
It’s different, yet, it’s exactly the same.
Why? Why do we feel this need to be Social? Why do we feel this need to Share?
In some of us it can substitute the physical loneliness. In others the mental anguish of solitude. Others still the reason to live. To all of us, the perception that we are not alone.
Why do we need this validation? We know we are not alone, in some cases we are surrounded by so many people that we feel physically oppressed by them, and yet, we seek that perception. We need to hear others, we need to be heard, we need to share.
Today we, the part of the world population that have (some more than others) risen above the dulling daily survival tasks, we share. Not because the others needed it, no, because we need it. We share photos of our food. We share photos of our pets. We share pictures that makes us laugh. We share music videos that make us feel things. We share thoughts and questions. We share. Some of us excessively. Others too little.
A friend posts his view of this or that subject, we accept the share, sometimes we even formulate a response, or, we just signal it has received. Sometimes discussions, heated and long, start over that subject. We go into the fight, to share our view, our “so important” point, we don’t care that much (sometimes) but we need to share our thoughts, our hard-learned lessons, our unique perspective.
This need to share, this need to be social, this need to feel connected, it’s as old as Humanity. It’s coded in our DNA.
Share! It’s only Human!