Social networks are not for friendships. They are for a constant stream of updates that help you know what people are doing and whether it really interests you or not.

(This post was triggered by the video above that found its way over to me this morning)

If you’re seeking friendship, make real friends, out there in the real physical world that you have had the good fortune of being a part of.

Social feeds have a way of embellishing the worlds around them. The whole case for narcissism borne out of the rise of social isn’t completely false. But we need to understand why we’re turning narcissistic in the first place. And its because the world likes to read and see only the good things in our lives. Or the extremely tragic ones. The middling details of our lives are of no concern to anybody on social networks. Including our so-called friends.

If you’re seeking friendships, make real friends…

In the real world, your “real friends & family”, will be there to listen to all the crap and the ‘meh’ details of your life. Try it on a social network of your choice for a week and you’ll know what I mean. Nobody cares.

If you’re really just doing it for yourself to vent then I’d suggest writing it down over typing it into a network. How many times have you really gone back to read your status updates from the summer of 2011 when you were having the worst time of your life. Keep a diary. Trust me – the written word still has that enduring power that the digital diaries of our world have just not been able to create, yet.

And now, about those brands… (given that I’m a marketer, I can never leave these folks out)

Brands that say that they are friends with their fans are clearly lying through their shrouded status updates. Every relationship is motivated by getting something back in return. Unfortunately, at some point in time the likes, comments and shares won’t be the real barometer of how much you love this particular brand and it will come down to what you’ve really given back in return ~ read as “have you bought the stuff I sell?”

So yes, if you’re expecting them to give you gifts and prizes for liking them, tweeting about them, sharing their content and whatever other social/digital action they can create, you’re not looking for a relationship without a take either. In the real world, if you really cared that much about a product and they really cared for you, you’d both be having a coffee together. And dishing gossip and talking trash.

Let me make this simple and disgusting for you. You and your friends all go to a wedding for a common friend. And there this very friend tells you that the person who takes the most number of photos and keeps all the guests happy and celebrates her special day the most, will walk away with a honking new PS3 and spa vouchers. Yeah, sounds really cheap doesn’t it?! So brands only really do it because as a consumer you’re that fickle and want to be lured in with something for your time. So don’t make this just about the brands on social not really caring about you. It goes for you folks too. You’re equally responsible for this.

You and your friends all go to a wedding for a common friend. And there this very friend tells you that the person who takes the most number of photos and keeps all the guests happy and celebrates her special day the most, will walk away with a honking new PS3 and spa vouchers. Yeah, sounds really cheap doesn’t it?!

And now about those friends you supposedly have on Facebook. They don’t really care either and if they do, I’m certain its a really tiny negligible percentage that did for a minute last month and haven’t since.

If you post only the amazing things about your life embellished with selfies on beaches, in bars, on tops of mountains, in fancy cars and with wild things puckering up to you, you’re obviously hiding all the other stuff in your lives. And that’s because you want the likes back for all of it and tell the world how AWESOME you are. And if like me you share a ton of links, you’re probably trying to prove how much you read and oh how intelligent you are. But in reality you’re doing just the reverse.

And in the off-chance, you commit the social faux-pas to post about what you’re eating, the sad things and all the negativity in your life, you will be called a downer and people will stop following you. Because they don’t care.

So all those posts peppered with quotes about “Life is Amazing” and life-changing manifestos, I’d suggest you keep them to yourself and enjoy the real beauty of those words for yourself.

Those are your personal moments, your personal epiphanies. And for the ones in the real world, keep them in the real world. Don’t expect so much from social networks. Don’t expect them to solve your need for a friend. And finally, you shouldn’t really care if you don’t get love all the time back on those very networks.

Live your life. Enjoy it. Build the physical reality that you are very much a part of. Make the magic happen there. You’re only fooling yourself if you’re trying too hard to make your next Facebook status update more epic than the last one. The only real test of how good and important you are to the world should come from within yourself. Not from a bunch of likes, comments, shares, re-tweets and hearts.

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