I remember when you wanted to know how someone was doing; you actually had to call them to ask. That may sound archaic to some, but that’s how it was in the old days. Sadly, the old days were about twelve years ago and things have changed so much since then. This isn’t a rant about how things were when I was younger, or maybe it is. However, I have been thinking since when did the world have to know my every thought, intuition or action? When did the world need me to be a part of it?
Not too long ago in a galaxy very close to our own, if you wanted people to know how you’re doing they would have to engage in a conversation with you. You started by using words that came from your mouth and entered their mind through their ears, which somehow doesn’t need to be the case anymore. You can carry an entire relationship through a string of text messages or posts on one another’s Facebook wall.
In an era of a “new economy” that the media likes to use, many people don’t have to go out to do anything anymore. In this new century, the term “home body” has taken on a whole new definition. Think about that for a moment. You want to see a movie? Any movie streaming service bring you movies to your television. You can order take-out through smartphone apps. Get groceries from your favorite supermarket with a couple of clicks of the mouse.
It goes even beyond that. We have smartphones that are smarter than most users. Apple even created a smartphone that does all the thinking for the user, so they can focus on what the newest Kardashian has to say about their latest scandal. Instead of trying to learn how these devices work, we have relegated ourselves to finding the “techie” or “nerd” at work that can help us set up our smartphone. When I say “help” it usually implies that you hand your device to that person and they will give it back when they’re finished.
Even within these smartphones, we have apps that can keep us connected to anything we want. We have apps where we can tell people what we are thinking of having for lunch, an app telling you where we are having lunch and an app that can send you a picture of what our lunch looks like. Sometimes, those three things are integrated into one single app.
When did everyone we know find it necessary to tell everyone what thought is creeping through their minds or even where we are at that moment by checking in? Many times I find myself checking in at a location and I give myself pause to wonder if anyone actually gives a damn that I am checking in to the local comic store for the umpteenth time? Most likely no one would give a damn if you posted something or not, but yet many of us still do it.
While slanted news is the way of the world, we find that people are leaving Facebook in droves but at the same token each young kid that turns 13 years old is signing up for a Facebook account. Some people get fed up with people playing out their pet peeves on Facebook that it ceases to be a place to interact with other people, which is what I expect when they called it a social media platform, but it becomes more about ego and vanity than anything else.
These social media profiles that track our thoughts, beliefs, movies we watch, rate things are less about what people think and only imply importance in what like-minded people think. We sit and wonder at the marvel of this “digital age” but we should see the downside of that being causing strife for people having differing opinions from you.
Don’t Get Baited
When you see that right-left comment on someone’s profile and you can’t resist the urge to argue, then you have failed in the most common form of “baiting”. When someone posts a comment or piece of information that is sure to antagonize the other side, which is exactly what they are planning to do. However, if can go for reinforcement of your own personal opinions of some.
I know several people that have very low IQ levels and the idea that they will produce offspring before me scares me. However, when I see that they post wholehearted responses to stories that give only one side of the situation, all I do is shrug and move on. Not only will I resist the urge to get into a geo-political debate with someone that isn’t sure that the moon is a planet or not, but it reinforces my already low opinion of this person.
People that make these sorts of attempts, even the ones that claim they aren’t doing it for attention, are doing it for attention. I think we have enough hate and strife in this world without the internet that we don’t need to spread it there too. To all the people that are upset that people aren’t paying their post any attention, there is a small button on many of these networks that can block them from seeing your attempt at garnering attention. Think about that next time you complain that no one listens to you.
In the end, I think why this new “social media” age is going to be around for a while; I think it is up to people to determine just how interesting their lives are to constantly post things on their profile. While it is a great way to keep families and friends in touch, when they are separated by hundreds of miles, it shouldn’t be used as pulpits to spew ignorance to people that don’t care to hear it. In the end, if no one cares about the stuff I say, then I will certainly not give a single damn about yours.