Friday, March 21, 2014

Everyone has their tribe

I've been struggling for the past few months with the internet and dysfunction.

Lot's of people make very compelling arguments for why the internet is, overall, good, but those arguments never sit well in my soul. And I finally figured out why.

Everyone has a tribe on the internet. Everyone can find a group of people who totally, completely accept them....and that's not always a good thing.

The thing is that everyone can find 100 people on the internet to tell them they are awesome. Even when they are doing shitty/dysfunctional/harmful things. There are dozens and dozens of people who will tell you "Don't listen to the haters! You're awesome!", even if the haters are right and you aren't being very awesome.

And humans take that validation and corrupt it to look like fact. "See!? Look at all these people who say I'm awesome and what I'm doing is totally ok!"

The true validation should come in real life. Your family, your close friends, your church, your school.........whatever community truly knows you. That's where we should be getting our validation or, sometimes, it's where we should be called out.

But being convicted is super uncomfortable. Sometimes painful. And it's much easier to retreat to the safe haven of people who only e-know you but will tell you "You're awesome!".

I find all this really depressing. Because the internet takes up more and more of our lives lately and people are having fewer and fewer authentic real-life relationships, at least as far as I can tell (but, you know, there will be 100 people on the internet telling me I'm full of crap so, clearly, they must be right).