Sunday, February 3, 2013

#totes

A couple days ago, I was talking to a buddy about all of the different types of social media I use. Mid-conversation, it became quickly apparent that I have an addiction to technology. 

I started noticing this problem when we were on the road to Colorado. My phone was glued to my hand for about 4.5 out of the 5 hours we were in the car. And even when it wasn't in my hand, I was staring at it, sitting beside my leg as if it was going to get up and do a back-flip right in front of my eyes.

The culprit?
Social media. E-mail. Text Messaging. The internet as a whole.
Basically, anything and everything that digitally connects me to other human beings. When I put it that way, my dilemma sounds like a combination of lonely, sad and desperate.
What kind of pathetic person sits around waiting for an alert on their notification bar? 

And here's the honest answer for you:   just about everyone in my age group.
Let's go with ages 16-30, just to make myself feel not so old-as-balls.

 Here is a screen shot of my browser on a typical night:
Take note of the tabs at the top of the picture. Notice that all but one are social media sites. ESPN has boards that I frequent, so I'm counting that one as well.

And guess what? I am 100% positive that a majority of the aforementioned age group are guilty of the same acts. If not via a computer, than by phone, or iPad, or whatever electronic device they might use to browse the interwebs. 

There are good and bad aspects about these habits. 

Among the good: newly developed communal nature between youth; easy access to the world outside your comfort zone; enriched relationships between people who might otherwise lose contact due to distance. 

The bad, I fear, outweighs the good: rather than normal communication, you're essentially talking to a screen;  constant obsession with being liked; never unplugged.

I'm still not convinced that being able to contact someone at all hours of the day is a good thing. Sunday night, I dropped my phone in a cup of water. Know what I did first, after putting it in a bag of white rice? I resorted to e-mail and Facebook to tell people I was off the grid. 

For Christ's sake.

Seriously?

Other than my mother - who tends to assume I'm automatically dead if I don't answer her calls - no one could possibly affected by this. Only me. I am so obsessed with checking in on my social media platforms that I forget to stop and tell myself, "hey - you're becoming bat-shit crazy. Tone it down." 

Not only are these sites a way to stay in contact with people you already knew, you can also use it to get in touch with people you otherwise would not.
It's like a harmless, yet fun, stalking game. 

For example, say there's a new girl at work that you seem to hit it off with. She's got the same interests as you and you think to yourself, "hey, I might actually make a friend this year!" 
Next comes the internal struggle. You know exactly what I'm talking about, and don't pretend like you don't. 

How soon is too soon to send her a friend request?
Will it creep her out if I like her status?
I wonder if she'll be offended by my constant cursing.
Aw, her dog is SO cute. I want to tell her. I'll for sure look like a stalker if I do that. 
Shit.

This is the crap we do. Instead of the overcoming the nervousness of asking her if she wants to go see a chick-flick this weekend, or just having a [GASP!] verbal conversation with her in person, we resort to the internet for communication, which essentially leads us to internalize the above pointless questions. Eventually, the weekend will roll around and after a few cocktails [for the age group over 21, of course], our moral compass takes a dip into the toilet and you press that dreaded "Add Friend" button, anyway.

Staring at that "Friend Request Sent" button, the internal stirring multiplies by the hundred.

What in the holy Hell...did I just do?

1 comment:

  1. it's pathetic how much I rely on social media.
    at my new job I can't check my phone AT ALL and at first it almost killed me but now I find myself not even checking it on my Lu ch breaks!
    kind of like the freedom.

    ReplyDelete

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