Social networking may have been a great source of communication at one time, but what has it become? Where much of what we now know as social media began as a way to connect with people near to you, now each time you tap the Facebook icon it’s opening the floodgates of pretentious profile pictures. Your double tap on Instagram applauds an egocentric lifestyle. Get enough likes on that perfectly timed post and we can anticipate an encore.
What do posts on social media really mean? Whether you just do it to “keep it in touch with family” or “haven’t posted in a while”, there’s a fine print between every pixel of an online profile and you’re in for a site crash.
Spring is in full bloom and the one unavoidable feature of your timeline is none other than everyone else’s kids “enjoying some fun in the sun”. I often wonder how much fun you can truly have in the sun if the fun is happening in front of an iPhone lense. If you’re the kind of person who cringes at the sight of yet another picture of your dear friend’s kiddos, you may as well unfriend and unfollow the minute the baby annoucement is Live on Facebook. Wait, people do that? Seriously, they do.
This brings me to the next portion of an online profile that could drive anybody crazy, especially this time of year: Big Announcements. From “We’re getting married!” to “I got accepted” and all the way down to the cheesy promposals, it becomes a little overwhelming. With the helping hand of social media, the online population has managed to take important moments in life that could have been sweet and sacred and in stead snap it and spit it out via mobile device. So what’s the point? Culprits of the crime may say it’s to inform friends and family of accomplishments and milestones. That definitely explains the link to the wedding registry.
Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, every post in your timeline, in some way, is attention or approval seeking. Some are worse than others, but inevitably, we all do it. Much like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, social media creates an environment separate from the real experience, creating a false sense of what is real. Much like the mysteriously freed caveman, once one person breaks free of the social media chains and tries to explain what lies beyond the cave mouth, the others don’t want to believe it.