“Hmmm… How do I reword this so it is 140 characters”
*Spends 30 minutes thinking of a caption for the Instagram photo they’re posting*
“Oh no I cannot post another laughing photo for at least 5 more posts”
“Is my outfit too basic?”
What has our world come too that we are more concerned with how we look online, or on the outside, and less concerned with how kindly we spoke to the grocery bagger in the store we just left. Or that we didn’t even take one single minute out of our day to hold the door open for the girl behind us because instead we were snapchatting our friend who we will probably see later that day.
Am I the only one that is disturbed with what our society is becoming? Am I the only one that would give up my phone for the rest of my life in exchange for my friends putting away their phones and actually spend quality time with me whenever we are together? I don’t know if I am over reacting, or “too sensitive”, but I honestly feel insulted when people would rather read something online than hold a conversation with me. The person in the same room as them. Who is taking time to be with them. Is that too selfish to ask these days? For someones full attention minus cell phones? Because I actually have had people get mad at me when I asked them to put their phones away as I was attempting to talk to them. I don’t think that is too much to ask but I guess some people do sadly.
Currently I am in a Mass Communication class and each week we have to do a blog response. This week it was on a blog called Alone in out Togetherness, and it was about our society’s increase in expectations of technology, and decrease in our expectations of people. It is written by my professor Jim Willis and I think he put it perfectly when he said;
When we are in the presence of a friend or loved one yet choose to focus our attention on the machine in our hand, we are in fact treating the machine with more respect; treating it as if it is more real than the person sitting next to us.”
PSA1: Our phones DO NOT deserve more respect and attention than the people we are with.
Those messages and other notifications WILL be there when you are done spending time with your friends. Putting your phone down when you are with other people will greatly increase the depth of your relationship, and will put importance back on the things that matter. (Like the people you spend your time with)
Lately I have been seeing many posts about people who became “Social Media Famous”, or whatever it is called, then completely cut it out of their lives because it was consuming it. I also have noticed not only my friends doing this, but also myself, wasting time attempting to find the funniest tweet everyone would favorite or the cutest caption my followers would be jealous they didn’t think of first. I am embarrassed to admit that I got so drawn into the belief that I had to have everything wrapped in a nice a pretty package just like everyone else that I sometimes wouldn’t even post photos till days after they were taken because my cation wasn’t up to par. Guys! That is multiple days where I wasted my free time trying to think about what certain words I would use to put under my photo, even though I knew 85% of people don’t even read my captions. I went through this phase where I would spend all my free time looking through other peoples instagrams, twitters, and tumblers feeling pity for myself because I wasn’t them. I wasn’t taking the same cool vacation as them. I wasn’t dressing the same way they did, or wear the same size they did. I wasn’t them, and I didn’t have their “perfect life”. -OR- (what I am realizing now) The “perfect life” they show us.
PSA2: The lives people show you online is NOT the whole picture.
They have flaws. They have days where they look in the mirror and do not want to go outside. Some of the people get paid to post certain things. Do you really think all of those “candid” shots were truly candid? They have days where they just sit at home eating pizza in their pjs. They look at other peoples sites and think the same things you do, how they want to have their lives. They get filled with jealousy too. But most importantly –> Their lives are not perfect.
All of this makes me wonder why they don’t show everyone their flaws too. Actually why don’t we show other people our flaws? Think about all the times people asked, “How are you?” this week.. Let me guess, you said good or amazing every single time. I challenge you to say something different next time. EVEN if it is bad. Be vulnerable. Be willing to show people that you don’t have your life all together with all the puzzle pieces in place. I crave a time where we don’t mask our struggles or our flaws. I crave a time where it is acceptable to admit that you are having a bad day because you know if you told someone who asked they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable, rather they would be empathetic and actually care about the fact that things didn’t go well for you that day. I crave a society based on honesty and support. The change starts with me and you. If you crave the same things I do, I challenge you to start being open about your struggles and bad days whenever they arise.
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they are never weakness.” – Brene Brown