I deeply believe that we are as happy as the quality of the relationships we have with people. And I think that technology has done an amazing job at tricking us into the opposite. More friends, more interactions, more attention, more likes.
I’ve been using Facebook for 6 years now, and they were doing a great job at helping me catch up with (old) friends and family as I was studying abroad. Then the years passed by, and I added people I encountered on a personal and a professional level. Quietly, Facebook replaced twitter at sharing links, getting links, and discovering new people. When they smartly got engaged to Instagram, this couple accounted for 90% of the content I shared on the web.
I was a happy user, the two services let me easily share to an audience that would quickly respond with likes and comments.
But then I asked myself, do I really share with people when posting something?
No, I don’t. I show. I don’t want to engage in any particular way, I just want you to see the cool thing I’m doing that looks even cooler with this Instagram vintage filter. Then I’m waiting for likes/comments as a reward, but certainly not as a two way relationship that “share” would induce. Honestly, we could easily replace the “share” button on these services with a “show” button.
And showing doesn’t fill you up, it doesn’t make you ultimately happy. It’s like filling a glass with a hole. Plus, when your average 500 Facebook acquaintances does that, you’re overloaded with shallow stories of people you don’t really know or care about that you can endlessly read with your iPhones, basically everywhere. Going to Facebook has become the equivalent of opening the fridge & staring inside, even though you’re not hungry.And we’re doing it, a lot.
That’s why I gave Path a chance. I wanted to stop showing to people I don’t really know, and start sharing with people who really matter. And deepens those relationships. Because this race towards showing is greedy, they want all you attention (cf. Facebook business model). In a few years I saw myself see/call/share my family less, always busy pursuing quantity.
And using Path has been great so far.
First, you share moments with people that already love you, so you really feel like sharing who you are. Not showing someone cooler.
Second, you see stories from people you’d usually not see on Facebook. Your mom/dad/sister/brother/cousins/grandma/grandpas, and that’s important! And for those who’d say “Yeah, then you don’t have to call them anymore”, it’s wrong. You’ll do it more often, it gets you to actually talk about something.
Third, the “out of sight out of mind” syndrome tends to disappear, as you tend to share more when you’re abroad. And we move a lot these days.
That’s my experience, my reality. You may find that it does(n’t) apply to you. What I can encourage you to do though, is just notice the difference between sharing and showing in your use of social medias and wonder:
“Does it makes me happier to show or to share?”. And let your journey begins 🙂