I was never really ‘popular’ on or off social network. I wasn’t a loner. It was relatable but I was good enough to not be included in that list. Talking about social media makes me realise how warm we feel in the embrace of ‘likes’ on our posts. I’ve heard many people say social is a lie; we try so hard to be funnier, wittier, prettier version of ourselves to get more likes, comments, shares. I’ve more than often thought about – how my posts are doing online, how many people have given it a thumbs up or remarked something, how many likes will I get if I share it. It was like a chaos in my head.
I wonder how distracted we have become. We are left with very little attention span. Why do we check every social app 20 times in every 30 minutes ? Why has it become necessary for us to share everything we capture through our lens ? Why do many casual conversations begin with – ‘Did you see that on Facebook !’ ?
We are definitely not slaves of technology and we are definitely not ‘addicted’. I cannot sit for 60 minutes straight without checking my phone. Even though nothing has changed much since the last 5 minutes socially, there is a constant urge to refresh the feed. I sometimes end seeing pictures on different pages from 4 years ago. But hey ! I ain’t addicted. I saw a guy beside me, standing in a queue at a store, checking his Instagram and Facebook and then locking the phone. Within 30 seconds, he unlocked the phone and started scrolling down again. He had to be told to move forward. But we are definitely NOT consumed by social network. On some days, I open Facebook App even without thinking, like a reflex. One of the more recent trends is Snapchat filters – making funny faces at your phone while people around you laugh so much that they actually record your reaction. ( No offence ! It’s funny. I do it too. )
Would I have made the same friends and started a new relationship if I was not on social media? Would they be as intriguing as they sound over texts? Social media makes people feel like they’re in touch when they’re totally, completely out of contact. If you put me in a room together with virtual friends, I would feel so awkward (at first, at least).
Not knowing what your friends are doing every second is liberating. It’s surprising how much you have to talk about when you don’t have a regular update of their life. I feel a constant need to withdraw from social media. I could never do it beyond 2 days. All I can do is abstain from things that are of 0 value to me. All I need to do is not plug back in. Never hurts to try, right ?
There will come a time in future when the next generation will look at the things we say, cringe and say that we didn’t know what we were talking about, when to talk what. We might look back and think about the time we whiled away and cringe.