Saturday, October 19, 2013

Somewhere in America: A Social Media Rant

{insert obligatory reason why I haven't blogged in over a month here}

Now that part is out of the way...

Social media has ruined America. Before you dismiss my rant, pick a random Facebook "friend" or Twitter "follower." When was the last time you spoke to or saw this person? Hold that answer.

I'm willing to bet $5 that one of the first things you do in the morning is check your feed on a social media site. I am also willing to bet you frequently reach for your phone throughout the day to check a social media timeline or post an update. Don't feel guilty if this is true. It's the American way! But it's a gift and a curse. We have lost all sense of communication. Seeing relationship statuses change, selfie and foodie pics on Instagram, up-to-the-minute Foursquare check-ins or live tweeting a television show with others has given us a false sense of communication and keeping in touch with family/friends.

Remember the days of dropping by someone's house because you were in the area? Or the days of picking up the telephone and calling someone just to say hey? These days you send a text full of abbreviated words beginning with "WYD" and ending with "Text me if you want to hang out soon." But you both know you won't hang out anytime soon. It's more of a polite way of ending the text conversation. 

You probably know more about celebrity lives than your own relatives' lives thanks to Twitter. You know more birthdays of friends than your own family thanks to Facebook calendar. And I bet you know every step of someone's daily life thanks to status updates and tweets. You "see" people all the time, right? When in reality you only played a time-sucking game, liked a status or commented on a picture. This DOES NOT equal communication. This BARELY means you've kept in touch. Now think of the question I asked earlier in this post. Did you REALLY just speak to or see this person or was it online interaction? Hmmm...

And now Facebook has taken away all privacy rights. Surely you are not surprised. It was a long way coming. I saw the writing on the wall (pun intended) when privacy settings had to be manually updated every other week. Ain't nobody got time for that. With these privacy settings changed, even more strangers can stay abreast of your every move. So maybe now is the time to stop posting your whereabouts, every event you attend, your OOTD (outfit of the day) and a pic of every meal you eat. I promise you the event will still happen and the food will still taste yummy if you don't post about it. (And speaking of food, for goodness sakes put your phones away when sitting at a table eating dinner. You're killing the vibe. Don't be rude!)

In the words of Jay-Z, "Fuck hashtags and retweets; 140 characters in these streets." Get off your computer and enjoy real life with real people. Thank me later.


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