On Social Media, Sharing, and Creativity

Man is a social animal.

The urge to socialize is as essential and fundamental to us as food, clothing, shelter, recreation, and sex.

Living in isolation is hard because we crave a human connection, which makes us feel connected with others.

That’s why the easiest way to punish someone is to isolate him.

All the prisons in the world work on the principle of isolation—they separate people from society.

It doesn’t matter what fancy names we give to our prisons—penitentiary, correction facility, or rehabilitation center; the concept is the same. Isolation is painful because it denies you the freedom to interact with the people of your choice.

If a human is not free to communicate with the people he wishes to, he’s also denied the option of sharing.

And mind you, it is not just about pictures, videos, or texts on your Facebook timeline. It’s also about your feelings.

You can share with your friends how you feel about a particular issue. Debates and interactions give you a platform to voice your opinions. You can exercise the freedom to express yourself in social settings.

In villages, people sing along while they work in fields -that’s their idea of socializing. They also sit together in the evening over a cup of tea or a hookah. That way, they can share how their day went.

There are clubs, meets, and kitty parties in cities—based on the same principle—sharing.

When the Internet came, things started to change. The Internet was an extension of the desire to share your feelings with as many people as possible.

In the pre-Internet era, the narrative used to be local. People had little or no idea what’s happening in the distant corners of the world. The Internet filled that gap.

Then came social media. It revolutionized everything.

Social media was aimed to connect people with others in a community like fashion.

And guess what, the internet has an advantage over the real world. It’s available 24×7, 365 days a year. The world is just a click away.

Having something available 24 hours a day has its disadvantages.

When you have something at your fingertips, I mean on your smartphone, you may start taking it for granted. And that’s what happened. People got hooked on social media and the so-called “sharing.” The hustle-bustle you witness on social media is not sharing in the first place because it is not a passive phenomenon.

Sharing is An Active Process

If you genuinely want to share, you need to create something first—something that you could say was yours.

Like funny videos? Why not shoot some by yourself?

In love with inspiring quotes? How about coming up with a few?

Crazy about romantic poetry? Why not create some love poems by yourself?

The point is to create something, become active, and provide some value to the world.

Let’s take an example:

Suppose there’s a mango tree in a forest.

One day a weary traveler rested under its shade. The mango tree wasn’t interested in producing mangoes. He asked the orange tree for some oranges and passed the oranges on to the traveler.

The traveler enjoyed the fresh, tangy fruits, gave thanks to the mango tree, and went about his day. The mango tree felt a kind of satisfaction. But deep down, it knew that joy was unreal.

You see, the mango tree can be delighted if it could produce some mangoes of its own. Sweet or sour, small or big, juicy or dry. Doesn’t matter.

What matters is that what you’re offering is your creation. You’ve not taken it from someone else (just like most of the people who ‘share’ on social media does)

Want to share?

Create something first.

Otherwise, what’s the point?

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