One of the greatest mediums on which to promote your business or your personal brand is through Facebook. The social media scene has had a huge impact on the growth of companies, the expansion of communication channels, the forming of new friendships, and the launch of brands and empires. It is a great medium to spread messages, find lost friends, and promote events, while at the same time updating the world on issues relevant to you.
I find Facebook, Twitter and other social networks very useful and an invaluable gift to mankind. But, I must admit, they have their negatives – hectic negatives! You see, I fell in love on Facebook. I had a virtual boyfriend who would send me messages and I would get butterflies just by reading… “Hi.”
I lived on his wall and would drool over his pictures as often as I would eat food every day! His comments on my posts were to me as vital as your vote is to the ANC! He’d ‘Like’ any rubbish I would post and would sometimes comment, telling me just how awesome, gorgeous, funny and wise I was. I’d blush like a white girl and could sense him smile from wherever he was. He was a total stranger to me but I got to know him as if he was an old friend. I really did think he was “The One.” So, we decided to finally meet face to face…
And man was that awkward! We had nothing to say to each other. We couldn’t even look at each other, let alone share a cup of coffee. He wasn’t the witty, bold, confident, slick and drop-dead-gorgeous smooth-talker hunk he looked like on his profile.
It was awkward and uncomfortable, and left us both feeling exposed and unsure of who we were as social beings. I not only felt lied to and betrayed, I also felt gullible, desperate and an outright fool to “love.”
My constant need to publish, post or tag has left me unable to communicate with someone directly. I no longer have the socially acceptable skills of forming relationships outside of Facebook, BBM or Twitter. I have forgotten how to keep relationships and friendships outside of the safety of social networking. Speaking to my family without reference to a funny status update or a hideous picture has become next to impossible for me. I gave up what was as natural as a hug as a means of affection, in exchange for a digital ‘Poke’ to an old friend. My addiction to Facebook caused me to lose myself and led me into the arms of a digital crush that would keep me up at odd hours surfing through his images and “liking” everything he said.
I fell in ‘digital love’. I wouldn’t wish it on any celebrity, oldie or teen. It is not real. It is based on what we wish we were and not what we really are. Note how rich, successful and just so darn beautiful all your Facebook friends are! Lies from the pit of hell I tell you! The photoshoped pics, borrowed cars and not so cute babies are just our way of feeling like bigger people. I dare you to be real. I dare you to not get addicted to social networks and form a false identity through them. I dare you to meet people face to face without first looking through their pictures. I dare you to get to know me before you see my profile. I dare you to know who I am as a person and love me for the person I am, and not based on the stolen quotes I post.
I dare you to be yourself on Facebook!
-Poppy ‘Pops’ Vilakazi
Follow Pops on Twitter: @popsvila