Social media and messaging applications have indeed allowed us to connect with people. Friendships are created over long distances and business and romantic relationships are springing out of this.
We meet beautiful souls on social media. We admire their faces, are enraptured by their timelines, and, sometimes, some of their words stay longer in our minds. Some of these people look like perfect people until we meet them in person.
Meeting people in person is not the only way to unravel what is beneath their skin, though many first impressions can help us see who people are through their mannerisms, quirks, the way they speak and gesture, the way they walk, the way they eat if you happen to dine with them, and most especially, the way they reason and react to things.
However, it is in meeting a person regularly that you come to understand them, by confirming patterns in their lives that make them act the way they do and form them into who they are that may be different from who they portray themselves to be on social media.
The advice still going about on social media concerning desisting from fake life online, is a result of these observations of how people are not what they portray themselves as online.
So-called influencers, celebrities, motivational writers, coaches in this and that, all fall within this category. Some of them are very terrible people in person and are only putting up a face of what they wish they could be that their personal life history is not helping them to become in their private lives. Some, nevertheless, are just out there to deceive because, after all, people love to be deceived.
Now, in the online space, it is quick to judge people or to validate them based on the face they are portraying online. You might be giving them support or judging them wrongly because of how you perceive them, but who they are in their private lives does not warrant support or judgment.
Someone who has dealt with a person regularly knows that person better than another who is merely sympathising with them, or judging them, based on their “online face”. Though we cannot all have the opportunity to meet our online friends, we must however be careful how we sympathise with, validate, and judge people based on the face they show us online. And to shun the voices of those who know them better is not social intelligence.
We are emotional beings and this always stands in the way of rationality even in things that concern our personal survival. You must never allow your emotions to becloud your reasoning when sympathising with, judging, or validating someone from the online space.