I remember the very first years of social media, older people went crazy about them. I was constantly listening to things like “this isn’t socializing”, “you are missing the point of human interaction” and most commonly “go out and meet your friends instead of talking to them through a computer”. That last one is the one that was the biggest fail. What if you can’t go out and meet your friends? What if your friends are miles away, into different countries, states, cities? That is the case with most of my friends.
I grew up in Greece, studied in a small island in the Aegean, moved to Manchester, where i met people from all over the world, and ended up in London. To catch up with all my friends i will have to be constantly on an airplane and travel between Athens, Dusseldorf, California, Nigeria, Cyprus and so on. Instead I’m home sharing thoughts with my friends on Facebook, photos of the latest burger i had on Instagram, bragging about that cool place i went in Foursquare and so on. It’s cool, i like it, i wouldn’t change it. Am i a victim of technology? Of course not, I’m just extremely privileged that i don’t have to post letters and wait for months to receive a reply. I’m privileged because i can skype my loved ones and get immediate feedback from my friends about pretty much everything. I love our age.
But what’s even more exciting, than catching up with your old friends, is creating new friendships through the web. That is spectacular and that is also something that people still consider a taboo. My inspiration for that was a Youtuber, Austin Evans. Austin lost all of his belongings in a fire that left his entire building a pile of ashes. Austin lost his computers, cameras and eventually his ability to make high quality videos about tech. Instead of quiting and being sad he was extremely positive, joking about his burned stuff. The result? All of the tech youtube scene chipped in and bought him a new Mac Pro and a lot of other stuff to put him back on his feet. That is probably the most awesome video I’ve seen this year so far. Cheers to Unbox Therapy and tldtoday for doing something so awesome. They restored my faith in humanity.
Did Austin knew these guys prior to his youtube videos? No! Would he be able to meet them without the internet and social media? Hell no! Unbox Therapy is from Canada, tldtoday from California and Austin from Missouri, and let me tell you, that’s too far from each other. Austin through the Internet got a career, a bunch of free stuff but most importantly a bunch of friends. How he did it? With good old kindness, optimism and a smile. The same things that you need in the outside world. So, the Internet is not making you lonely, unsocial or awkward. The Internet is giving you endless possibilities to meet new people from all over the world. And that is awesome!!!