We’ve gone from gossip being spread only at the coffee shop or hair salon to being virtually everywhere thanks to social media.
With the internet (and technology along with it) expanding in the nineties, most didn’t realize what all the expansion would mean. Apparently it meant duck lips selfies in our futures.
Seriously, people can’t put those things down.
And those things are our cell phones. With our cell phones come the ease of the internet and the ease of social media. Oh what our little thumbs can do.
The invention of the cell phone camera is either a really awesome invention or the worst idea ever. I say this because I can’t go anywhere without seeing people’s faces making the most ridiculous expressions ever, or contorting their bodies to make themselves look like the Grudge just got hit by a Mack truck… That’s what they’re doing, right? Right?!
We’ve become self-absorbed, mindless drones that beg for attention. So much so that we are willing to post
anything mostly anything on social media.
Personal Lives Aren’t Personal
As I am sure you’ve gathered, if you’ve frequented my Twitter or this account, I have been married for five years. This means that I see the above post from friends, acquaintances, and people I don’t give a Cinnabon about, all the time.
Sometimes, accompanied with this super intimate post, is the picture that goes along with it. That’s right folks, women are posting pictures of the stick they pissed on to let you and yours know that they’re expecting. Mind you, they haven’t had this confirmed yet by an expert on babies because they thought letting the world know that they have a bun in the oven was more important.
Pregnancies aside, remember when marriage engagements, weddings, and honeymoons were intimate happenings between a bride and her groom? No? Well take a look at your parents’ pictures and have them tell you the story.
A future husband would ask the father of his future wife for her hand in marriage, he proposed with a ring he can afford, they’d have a quaint wedding, and then go off (maybe) to enjoy a small trip close to home.
Nowadays? Oh, you’ll know she’s engaged the moment it happens. You’ll even know they’re engaged before their immediate family knows. As for the wedding? Well hello, Snapchat! Why yes we would love you to record every little thing that happens and post it for the entire world to see! The wedding will also be held at the most expensive venue in the area, the brides’ dress will cost thousands, and now they’re all in debt. Maybe this is why the weddings make up a $7 billion industry.
Here comes the baby we were talking about earlier! Privacy? Nah, here’s a picture of my disgusting baby that just sat inside of me for nearly ten months. And, if that wasn’t enough, here’s a video of me giving birth! You’re welcome!
Does it come as a surprise that divorce is at such a high rate? How can we focus on our relationships when they’re forged via our cell phone screens and all about the “status” we have created for ourselves online? Are we even who we say we are?
The Era of “Look At Me”
Beyond the privacy issues of social media, there’s the issue we are having with everyone’s brains and their brains on social media (kind of like your brain on Phonics… No?). I like to call it the Era of Look At Me.
The cell phone camera, as mentioned earlier, has led many to believe that all we really want in the world is to open Instagram and see your face ten times making various faces at your phone.
Along with selfies, we are constantly blessed with the This-Is-What-I-Am-Eating pictures. Congratulations on your tacos.
Oh, and let’s not forget the This-Is-Me-Working-Out selfies. However, working out has become less of that and more of “let me see if I can get the right angle of my butt in this giant gym mirror.”
There are more diet fads, more cleanses, and more work out routines that work this muscle or that muscle, than ever before in the history of man, probably because we are taking pictures of our food we didn’t forage.
The Era of Look At Me goes beyond selfies, diets, and
not working out, and also includes just blocks of text.
I’m sure we all have that one friend, or two or three, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. that gripes about their life all the time. You know who I am talking about. The person who posts that they slept poorly last night, that they’re late to work because they slept poorly, that they spilled coffee on themselves because they were in a hurry, because life sucks their soul right out of their bodies, and NOTHING IS FAIR.
They’re the real MVPs of this headline. Nothing screams “LOOK AT ME” more than 1) all caps and 2) whining constantly.
Will anyone pay attention to you? Your grandma might, but after a while you become just another whiny fish in the sea.
Whose Life Is It Anyway?
Along with making us all into horrible narcissists, social media gives us the sense of entitlement, not that we don’t already suffer from that, and the belief that our friends, acquaintances, and people we don’t give a Cinnabon about, really want to hear our advice.
The best example I can give is when someone gets pregnant or has a baby (more with the babies cuz that’s the age range I am in right now. The babies are taking over the world). The whole ‘don’t use that kind of diaper’ or ‘you can’t do that‘ or ‘you gotta do this before you do xyz’ or, my personal favorite, ‘my kid does this; they’re so smart.’ No one cares, Aunt Marge.
The social media advice people receive astounds me. I’m sorry, who’s life is this? Yours? Oh, my mistake, you can have my debt then, thaaaankkksss.
All kidding aside, social media, the internet in general, provides us with the security that we feel safe behind our wee screens and tap-tap-tapping thumbs. When really, are any of us safe?
Remember when you were little and your mother told you not to speak to
weirdos people you don’t know because they’re strangers? Well don’t worry, ma, cuz now we are speaking to everyone about everything! What we had for dinner, who we went out with and where, what our plans for the future are, where we live, who our family is, etc.
The amount of information we feel comfortable placing in the minds of literal strangers should frighten us all.
People strangers can find out a lot about a person just by snooping on their social media sites for a little while. Some people aren’t total creeps and are just harmless-stalking you, but if your neighbor across the street knows what the inside of your house looks like, without ever stepping foot over the threshold, then anyone else can find out that information as well.
If you take some time to think about it, posting about your personal lives is the equivalent of letting someone into your home when you’ve just met them and letting them stay a while. Too creepy? Well, that’s what we do on a daily basis when we accept friend requests from people we don’t really know.
The question to ask yourself is: do I want others to know this about me? If the answer is no, then don’t post it. It’s as simple as that.
Social media can be fun to play around with, to joke with friends, post pictures with family, reconnect with people you hadn’t kept in touch with, and invite people to social gatherings. However, social media is a breeding ground for border-line narcissism, addiction, and self-importance. The world does not revolve around you and the pictures you took at the gym while you worked out.
Social media has become a source of vetting out our personal issues, learning to not communicate with one another because I can say what I want behind the safety of my screen, and to fuel our egos.
We are in the era of sharing, which is great that your mom taught you how, and the need for attention, but not everything needs to be shared and shared again.
That’s it for now, folks, stay tuned next week for Part 2 of The Dangers of Social Media.
What do you think about social media? Do you agree or disagree with my statements? There’s more to the dangers of social media than what I have mentioned, what would you add to the list and why?