By Faith Haushona-Kavamba
OVER the years, I have gone from being a dyslexic emo-goth to the psycho over-sharing (ex) girlfriend to just being plain old me with no embellishments on Facebook.
I went through the phase of writing poems every day, then moved on to sharing the outfit of the day for an entire month (which was exhausting) and I must admit I did some of my best cyber stalking on Facebook.
There were so many phases I went through in my early days of social media, with each appealing to different kinds of people who I subsequently befriended online.
Naturally, as those phases faded away, so did those friendships, however there are those that have lasted over the years, regardless of what phase I was going through. Some of these friendships have lasted longer and grown closer than those I have with people who are actually in my life.
Sometimes, I turn to those people I’ve befriended when I’m going through a dilemma because they honestly know me better than some people who call themselves my friends.
However with the exception of one person who I met in person on happenstance a few years ago as we were both students at the University of Namibia and bumped into each other because our departments were close to each other, I have not met any of my social media “besties”.
It’s understandable that some live overseas and neither of us is willing to spend thousands of dollars just to meet someone you met online (who could possibly be cat-fishing you), but there are those I live in the same country, nay, town with but can never seem to make time to meet with.
Occasionally I will walk past someone who I think I recognise from social media but I can never quite muster up the courage to walk up to and just say “hi”. I know I’m not the only one with these odd friendships, my own friends also have these social media friendships, some even exchanging gifts but have never met.
But what is the etiquette when it comes to social media friendships? Is it that we are meant to only remain friends online and never meet in person? Sometimes I want to contact those people and invite them for lunch but my paranoia gets the best of me. If one of them invited me for lunch, I would over-think the whole situation (as I do with most things in my life) and conclude they are most likely human traffickers trying to kidnap me or sell my organs on the black market.
Things are not what they seem in person and online, so what if this person has been putting on a façade and you have nothing in common when you actually meet? There are so many variables, so again I ask, what is the etiquette when it comes to social media friendships? It is rather odd that you spill your heart out to someone you have never met.
Or do we just have to accept that we live in an age of technology and we are redefining the way things are done, friendships, relationships, the traditional working environment (one can work for a firm on the other side of the world staying connected merely through the internet), etc. It is only a matter of time before people start getting married online without having ever met at this rate.
Should I feel guilty that I have never made the effort to meet these people or should I not try to fix something that is not broken and let sleeping dogs lie? Honestly, its time someone came up with a notebook on how to navigate their way through this ever-changing modern world governed by technology.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015