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Social Relationships

I’m sort of picking up from one of my last posts about the highs and lows of social media. However, this time I wanted to delve slightly deeper into something that seems to be growing ‘thing’. I say ‘thing’ because it’s not necessarily a problem, but I don’t think it’s all that great/healthy either…
I’m talking about social relationships. I wanted to coin a 'super cool', new term for this but ‘sociships’ just isn’t that good is it? That's about the limit to my creativity. Also, nobody would know what I’m talking about... You now must be wondering what I AM talking about. Anyway! I’m talking about the kind of relationship you have with a friend that seems to happen predominantly over Instagram or Whatsapp. The result; you speak to them more on those platforms, than you do in real life. I feel like everyone has at least one of these in their lives.
I don’t have Whatsapp (hears gasps/gets called weird). I haven’t had it for over 2 years now. The night of Halloween 2015 my Whatsapp had a bit of a freak out which in turn caused my phone to have a meltdown, so I got rid of it. Since then, I haven’t missed it at all. Gone are all the group chats where 100’s (Not wildly popular, just lazy) of notifications plagued me every day. These used to send me into a blind panic that I'd missed something important. I'd then spend a solid amount of time scrolling back through the conversation, only to find out, it was about Scott Disick being unfaithful to Kourtney again (Classic 2015 guys). Side note: What a div.
Gone is me having to ignore someone because I didn’t want them to see I’d read their message. Gone is me checking to see if someone (that guy) had been online and not replied to my vaguely heartfelt message. To me it is a torpid form of communication. I now only speak to people via text and I take my time in constructing messages and always get a much more satisfying reply back than the one line/word response I would get on Whatsapp.
Another perpetrator that is adding to these ‘sociships’ (Can I make that a thing? Just like 'fetch', probably not...) is of course Instagram. When you do meet with your friend in real life, you don’t really have anything to catch up on anymore because you’ve already liked all their holiday shots from Sorrento and commented on every pasta dish saying ‘#drooling *heart eyes emoji*’ So, these types of conversations start to happen.
“What did you get up to at the weekend?”
“I went for Bruch at The Ned with the girls from work.”
“Oh yeah… you had waffles”
“Yeah, I think you liked my picture.”
“Oh my god how was going up the Shard, the view you posted looked amazing”
“Yeah the view was amazing.” 
It seems to me now the closer the friend the less you feel you need to see them because; you’ve sent them 4 memes on Monday, liked their Instagram post on Wednesday, Thursday, you have sent them a text attempting to arrange something on Friday, Get FOMO from their pictures on Saturday, they are un-contactable (read: hungover) Sunday. Then the vicious circle starts all over again
For someone that loves social media and blogging, I am really awful at taking daily pictures. However, this goes back to creating a persona on social media. I'm well aware that most things we see on Instagram are veering on the 60% real 40% contrived content. I find I always get far too caught up in the moment to whip my phone out. Maybe it’s because I don’t actually go out all that often (bit of a homebody) that I tend to just soak it up and enjoy it. I’m also worried that everything is getting far too documented that people aren’t going out and living the real thing. The last gig I went to I ended up watching it through other people’s phones as they stuck them up in the air blocking my actual view (Honestly, what do people do with gig/concert footage?).
I will counter this with; Instagram is amazing if you want to find some hidden gems when you’re travelling. I now use Instagram to find restaurants and bars abroad as opposed to Trip Advisor. What’s better than someone describing a Pizza? Erm, seeing the damn Pizza with the Juno filter on it! At the time of writing this I'm sitting in King’s Cross Station and I can see through Instagram that there is an Ex on the Beach Body fitness class happening and Vicky Pattinson is doing a meet and greet, so I know to actively avoid walking round the corner! Thanks Insta.
What are your thoughts? Are we becoming too reliant on social media platforms to sustain our friendships? Sometimes it's an old school friend that we feel in the loop with their lives because of Instagram, so we fail to arrange that catch up. Sometimes it's your best friend that you speak to everyday but see once a month. I think we are all guilty of sometimes believing that our social activity counts as real interactions. It doesn't.
Do I want to know what outfit Daisy wore on Saturday night or do I want to ask her when I next see her, what she wore? Do I want Lucy’s pictures of Prague to make me feel like I don’t need to go anymore because I’ve seen it all already? So let's close Instagram every once in a while and make a phone call, or send a text to catch up.
Also, any suggestions on improving the word 'sociships' most welcome!


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