I’m a fair weather bloggist by trade. It looking at my page I realize I mostly blog on holidays and when boredom of vacation time settles in (ughhh…I’m off until Wednesday). Truthfully, I visit Tumblr mostly out of enjoyment of gaining access to the personal thoughts of friends and strangers, peaking into the body of work of some amazing photographers, and even for some pure consumer reasons (Hey! Some brands have done a great job with leveraging advertisements off of Tumblr).
After the emotional hangover I have from the weekend (long story) and the aforementioned Tumblr realization, I began thinking about technology and how it affects us (Spoiler Alert: A rant is coming shortly). I do love technology in so many ways. It provides flexibility with work, makes car rides more enjoyable, and certainly increases purchasing power if you know how to shop online. And social media has done the impossible by making the entire world feel localized. We are all 3 seconds and a click of a mouse away from friends/family/acquaintances who live on the other side of the world. My problem lies in the fact that I believe with the ease of use, 24-7 personal branding, and text/pic/video options…we have all gotten so incredibly self-absorded in our own lives. Lately, I’m noticing more and more selfies, pity posts (you know the ones that people post crying for attention, but offer no details), real-time updates of weddings, birthdays, dates, and just about everything else you can think of. That is not to mention the arguments between friends and families that play out via Facebook and Twitter, intimate life-changing announcements made via FB and Twitter, and even entire vacations that play out via Vine. In the end it is all about us. Social media was originally created to connect us, but it has gotten to the point where all it really aims to do is show the world how awesome and interesting we all are as people. Today, we are all very connected, but are all very disconnected with the world around us.
We do need technology and social media because there are so many benefits. But my concern (and the basis of this post) is what is it doing to us as people long-term? I actually have friends I don’t even talk to anymore because I know everything going on in their lives without having spoken to them on the phone and in person in months maybe years. That is damaging. We are emotionally scarred and empathetically dead. We all communicate, but we no longer connect.
My hope is that we as people can show we care rather than just pretend we care. Actions speak so much louder than words. And right now most of our words are 140 characters or less.
Until next time.
PS - I just want to say that for all the negatives I listed throughout the post…I have seen some incredible acts of kindness and the better side of humanity via social media (which gives me hope). My observations were strictly micro-based and the cure for my emotional hangover.