Jay Shetty, have you heard of this guy? He is on a mission to make wisdom go viral, he also happens to be an ex-monk! Check out his stuff here.
Anyway, he has a short video on his Facebook page about how life is coffee and all the other stuff we focus on and lose ourselves in is the coffee cup. It got me thinking about the place that Facebook has in our lives. Facebook was maybe supposed to be about sharing our lives with our friends, but its really become more about showing off how shiny, amazing and better-than-yours our cups are.
When I first joined Facebook in 2007, it was for the sole purpose of attending a youth conference being held in Abu Dhabi, hosted by a bunch of Americans. It was literally supposed to be a place for the hundreds of young participants to get to know each other before the event, share the details of the various venues and share pictures of the event as it progressed. Slowly it evolved to being a connection place for all the friends and family I had scattered around the world, ostensibly to share what was going on in my life and being part of theirs. Too quickly though, it evolved even further to accepting friend requests from people I had once been to school with, met briefly in coffee groups, ante-natal classes, playcentre etc etc….soon my friend list numbered in the 100’s, of course nowadays most serious Facebookers boast a “friend” list much larger than that!
Anyway, I digress, I guess what I am reflecting on is how quickly Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or whatever other social media you are part of has become less about sharing our cup of coffee, sharing our authentic lives with our loved ones and more about sharing our inauthentic selves, our curated, best version of our life, fanciest coffee cup, selves. We have lost the ability to connect authentically with our peers via these platforms. And its not just about connecting and communicating authentically about our lives, it’s also about examining and witnessing our “friends” lives. How does that make us feel about ourselves? Have we forgotten what our own path was/is/can be? For example, I can be perfectly happy with the choices I am making, the life that I am living and then one too many evenings spent browsing Facebook can throw me off balance…..Oh she’s traveling again? wow nice house! she is so successful. I wish I had his/her job, money, partner, house, LIFE!
We and in this case I mean I, have forgotten the greatest maxim that my PhD adviser taught me…