We have all become so very available. We’ve gone viral. Gossip travels faster than ever, social media defines us and is even requested for job applications, and the number of likes a post or picture gets is modern day validation. While younger generations don’t know the difference because it’s how they’ve been raised, I’ve had the opportunity to watch the world change. And it’s not all bad. But it’s not all good.
We are needy, attention seeking, impatient, and utterly narcissistic. We have entered the age of The Selfie. Our attention spans are shorter, our lives are made to be on display, and our conversations are streamlined by whatever is trending and if that happens to be about a gorilla and a baby- good luck getting through the day without being pulled into THAT conversation. I tried watching My So Called Life again and got so bored during the opening credits I fell asleep. Life is faster than it used to be. It’s only getting faster and Ferris Bueller knew it before all of us.
On the opposite end of that spectrum, we are much more connected and life, in many ways, is easier. I know what’s going on with my extended family and when friends have lost loved ones. I see engagement and baby announcements. I can even give you a brief idea of what’s going on with people I haven’t had a conversation with in over 10 years.
I find social media so very fascinating. Someone told me this the other day and I will share it with you: We only post on social media when we’re feeling high and we only go on social media when we’re feeling low. Let that sink in. It’s absolutely accurate and it has definitely made me think twice. My life isn’t what you see on my Instagram. I don’t post pics of the days when I’m not feeling particularly positive and have cried for 4 hours. Social media isn’t about a relationship with yourself but the perception you want others to have about you. Yeah, we’re getting real deep over here…
And let’s discuss cell phones. We have all becomes slaves to these rectangles of plastic that are only an escape from our present. Everything we need is at our fingertips. Shopping, taxis, DMV documents, you name it! We have become a culture of immediate gratification. Not only do we crave the relief to know a text has been read but we also need those 3 little dots to assure ourselves that they, indeed, are responding….or alive…or haven’t thrown their phone into an abyss. Those little dots create more drama than one could ever imagine. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. (Reason #1274 I’m still a droid girl)
It really is crazy how much has changed. We used to take pictures and had to wait until we used an entire roll of film and got them developed before we knew how many pictures Karen ruined with her eyes closed. If someone was late, they were just late and we had to wait. Could be minutes or hours. Time would tell. We used maps, we had long talks on the phone, and if we were out of the house we were “off the grid”.
Don’t hesitate to take it back old school sometimes. Don’t scare people by any means, but put your phone down and bask in the idea that you can’t be found and be at peace with where you are and who you’re with, even if it’s yourself. Be with other people when you’re with them. As I’ve said before, be careful with other people’s time. Don’t let life pass you by while you stare at screens because it’s yours…and you’re better than that 🙂