Social media is taking over the world… but should it take over our lives?

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Reddit. Tumblr. It’s like little aliens are invading the planet in the forms of these social media websites and we’re letting them inhabit our brains and control our lives. Literally. That was such a good analogy, I’m actually surprised at myself. Social media websites are the aliens we haven’t prepared for. Apparently, they didn’t need UFOs and we shouldn’t worry about Area 51 when it’s real and it’s happening as we speak. We’re inviting these aliens into our homes and allowing them to take control.

As a typical teenager in college, I have had my fair share of social media. I have had my rip-my-brains-out, I don’t know why I’m still on here, what am I doing days. AND I have had my wow, this post is really clever, that’s a really funny video, I’m currently engaged in an intellectually stimulating conversation with a friend I haven’t seen in awhile days. Mostly I just want to rip my brains out, though.

You know what I like better than a crazy filtered picture of trees on Instagram? Trees in real life. Like, actual trees. Oh and basically everything else. I would be more impressed by just going outside, finding a tree, and giving it a good, long stare.

Something that really makes me respect people is when I see that they have twittered about how drunk they are getting, have gotten, or want to get. The last time I checked, underage drinking was illegal? I mean there’s that? Illegal is cool, though, I guess.  People still might think that these days. And they’ll also probably still think that when you’re on the side of the road in an orange jumpsuit picking up trash, right?

Bad grammar really gets to me. Our generation already has a bad reputation for our text-talk. So let’s uphold that reputation? Is that the logic? I’m sorry, are you five? I mean, I don’t know about you, but this definitely sounds hireable: “Plz gib me da job bc i relly lyke ur stuff n need dolla billz.” That was a joke, I honestly hope that sentence has never been used in real life ever.

People who tweet and post about relationships and/or their non-existent ones just remind me how proud of myself I am that I don’t do that.

Oh, and the other thing I really just despise are when people tweet about something terrible happening: “RIP Alex” or a post about the Newtown shootings. Okay, maybe it’s fine to post about, it’s seriously impersonal, but okay. BUT THEN. Their very next tweet is something along the lines of: “Didn’t get the shoes I really wanted at the mall FML.”  After tweeting about something so terrible, have some dignity. Do NOT complain about your life basically ever if you feel “sad” enough to post a tweet concerning the death of someone else’s loved one.

Complaints and subtweets… I don’t know if I even have enough effort to go into those right now. I could write pages. Novels about people who complain on twitter. The title will probably be: “Twitter is Not Your Therapist and Odds Are, Your Ex Does Not Care That That Last Tweet Was About Him.”

Sometimes when people I don’t like have posts I can relate to, I talk myself out of it. Example: Someone I don’t like tweets song lyrics to my favorite song in relation to something he/she is going through. My thoughts: “-_-You may have thought you liked this song, but now you can’t, you just can’t. Your respect for yourself is too high. Maintain your dignity. It’s just not worth it. I’m sorry, Josh Groban.” And I get over it. (Except, that was a bad example because I would never do that to Josh).

Also, it’s almost creepy how much we can know about someone before they know that we know. If that makes sense. Which it does. And it’s not “almost” creepy, is IS creepy. I would rather get to know someone in person. (Refer to below, also).

I think the worst part about social media is the fact that people compare each other’s lives based on what they see on a screen.

I saw a quotation the other day that put it best:

“One reason we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick

We log onto Facebook and all we see are the “highlight reels.” We don’t see everything that goes on behind the scenes- the midnight diaper changes, the late-night homework sessions, the desk jobs. And it makes us insecure. And it makes us feel like we’re not living our lives right, because we’re not who that other person is on the screen, we’re not having these moments. And sometimes I think people want to do things just to show the world that they are doing them. I think to myself sometimes “Wow, my friends and I have so much fun, why don’t we post pictures of every single minute of that fun?” And then I remember it’s because we’re actually having fun. And if we take pictures, they’re of moments. Because we want to remember the times, not because we want to show people who we’re with and where. If we’re always taking pictures, it’s impossible to create other moments.

 

Even though I’ve come down on social media pretty hard, it does have its positive aspects. I mean… I have a Facebook, a Twitter, and a Tumblr. But I can’t say I love myself for it.

For companies, it can be a good way to spread the message (although for users, it can probably be annoying). It is undeniably fast and easy. For groups, social media can be a very good way to get in touch with multiple people at once and give updates to hundreds all at the same time. It’s entertaining and there are some very funny people in the world. And you can get in touch with people half-way across the country and also stalk their lives from home.

But people, do you realize how socially unacceptable it would be if, say, you were living in the 18th century? Before cameras and the internet, for those of you who aren’t aware the internet wasn’t around back then, yes it’s true. You would basically be that creepy person climbing in the back of someone else’s wagon, following these people around, wanting to know every aspect of their life without ever having any interaction with them whatsoever. It wasn’t socially acceptable then, why is it so now?

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