The Narrowing Of The Pyramid
Social media has the unfortunate byproduct of objectifying relationships. We categorize and compartmentalize people into lists, groups and interests and subsequently view individual participation in any given sphere as incidental to our own objectives. The specificity of the “like” or “comment” is no longer important insomuch as there is an endorphin release related to “belonging” or being acknowledged.
The end result of this is that we have come to understand “friend” as a type of commodity ~ interchangeable at a moment’s notice with any other commodity depending upon the need of the moment however frivolous or profound. Food, companionship, sympathy, drink, activity, appreciation, empathy, consideration, security – all find themselves among the catalog of commodities. Food can comfort as much as a friend – why not? I can easily find sympathy at the bottom of a bottle of wine, can’t I? Our ease with objectifying friends has cascaded into almost every part of our own reality with our own grasp of identity at risk.
From a psychological perspective this is frightening as it means that the pyramid that we have all come to accept as THE model of “human motivation” is narrowing – with more and more items being placed in the lower levels thereby making it even harder (more unlikely?) to achieve self-actualization. Items which previously brought esteem are now thrown into the physiological realm and rendered vulnerable to the ebb and flow of the volatile social dogma. Biblical Mathew 7:25 comes to mind and would seem both a beacon and a warning at the same time: “…build your house upon a foundation of rock” or else …
It is likely time – at an individual level – to voluntarily adopt a lens which stops objectifying our world and brings the pyramid back into a perspective which makes self-actualization a realistic possibility. Take friendship back out of the land of commodities. Make THAT your resolution at the start of this 2018. For if Monsieur Hawking and others who have spoken about the fate of mankind are correct, whether or not that last photo I shared has 5 likes or not will matter not a schmick in the wrinkle of time.
I can see no better goal than to right the pyramid. This is my stated agenda.