I’m fairly certain I am in the minority when it comes to what I am about to say. But then, what’s new?
I found this important enough to blog about, so you know it must be a pretty outstanding issue from a societal standpoint. And although this might not be within your realm of understanding, please allow me this moment to exercise my right to an opinion—and a platform on which to share it.
From where I stand, I am seeing a generation of people who are taking the social media thing way too far, in my humble opinion of course. (This bit, I think, most people can probably agree with. But, here comes the kicker…)
Instagram is a photo-sharing website. I shouldn’t have to rely on it to know what my FRIENDS are doing with their lives, or to understand their thought process or perception of life or to know their interests. I don’t go to social media, much less Instagram, for that. That’s what your inbox is for. But I mean I guess I’m expecting way too much from a well-connected society? We want to know what you’re doing and what you’re thinking every second of the day, without ever having to put the effort into finding out. In fact, we can find out all of that about you without you even knowing that we are looking. How’s that for friendship? LOL.
I don’t even like posting my family on my page, as they aren’t on social media. And it’s almost as if people would feel like, “oh you don’t post them? You must not have one. Or maybe you have no relationship with them.” But the reality of it is, MY Instagram is meant for beautiful photographs. My Instagram is a reflection of a hobby/interest of mine, something that is part of me but not ALL of me, and that is my love for travel and appreciation of the Earth. Occasionally, social issues will also weed their way in, because I am a part of humanity and I believe in social responsibility. Still, will I ever jump to the other end of the spectrum here and say: “my social media isn’t me so you can’t use it as a gauge to determine the type of person I am”? Absolutely not. Because nothing on there is fabricated or misleading. It is in fact reflective of me and my interests, and I wouldn’t have any qualms about showing it to an employer or older family member.
It just isn’t the whole story. And I don’t think it was meant to be. Forget about the false illusion of privacy. Forget about the fact that there are no rules, other than those put in place to protect us from “indecency”, and that we can all portray ourselves as anything we choose. Let’s just think about what the obsession with social media updates from real life human beings has done to us as a society.
They have made us all feel entitled. We feel like we DESERVE to know what is going on in your life, like we have a right to the information. We feel like we have a right to know if you are in a relationship or not, if you are in the country or not, if you are sick or not. We have a right to know what your children look like, or what you do in your spare time. Or what you look like when you just wake up in the morning.
You can’t venture too far into social networking without encountering the beast that is the keyboard gangster. The anonymity of the internet has turned some of us into some ill-mannered, insulting imbeciles. And maybe it is so that those people would have been that way regardless, and it could be argued that the internet just brings it out. But that’s just it. For some reason, regardless of what it is, the internet brings out the worst in people.
On that last note. It has made us forget that we are all human beings. Celebrity or not, we all have feelings and we all are entitled to our own practices and beliefs. Yes, we all also have a platform and a “right” to share our opinions, but no one ever died from exercising a little couth.
I think these sites just make people lousy friends. You don’t have to ever pick up your phone and call someone and say “hey how are you? how is everything.” You can just log in and get updates on everyone simultaneously with little to no effort. This, arguably, has led to number 1.
People now base their friendships and even intimate relationships on social media behaviour. If I unfollow you because I don’t like what you post, then obviously I don’t like you as a person and we therefore shouldn’t be friends. What? Why can’t I exercise my right to choose what I want to see on my feed and when? Why can’t I just be an avid animal lover and want to see only lions and tigers and bears on my Instagram feed, as opposed to your selfies? And why does that choice, to be tolerant and respectful by way of avoidance, have to lead to the ending of a friendship? You mean to tell me if I don’t post photos of my boyfriend every Monday that we obviously don’t have a good relationship, he’s cheating, we broke up, or he simply doesn’t exist? I don’t love my daughter because I don’t have her face all over my page, for the whole anonymous world to see?
Come on guys. We really need to reevaluate ourselves a little bit here. I know we can’t and won’t all use social media the same because we are all different. And I’m not here for that anyway. I’m just here because I think that there should be a collective less energy put into our profiles and online image than what we put into our bodies and character. Or at the very least, couldn’t we just care about both, equally? Can’t we talk to our friends in real life as much as we RT them or like their photos? Can’t we care as much about how our selfies look as we do about how we treat people? Can’t we care as much about what other people are posting as we do about their well-being?
Then again, whether we actually care or not, as opposed to just being curious … That’s a different question entirely. Because knowing, even if it’s only the half, that’s what really matters.
And that’s why we’re all so disconnected.