Our society is based on updating useless information about our lives, like what we ate for lunch and where we shopped. But, nobody cares about that. It’s all infinitely pointless minutiae. When you go to a concert, how many people do you see taking photos and videos on their iPhones, when they could be experiencing the concert firsthand? How many Facebook statuses have you seen about the movie that just came out, or about someone having “a bad day, but don’t ask me, because I don’t want to talk about it,” prompting about twelve people to comment asking what’s wrong? (Only for the poster to say something along the lines of “Nothing, no one would understand.” Barf.)
We are being raised in a culture that has led us to believe that everything we say, tweet, post, and type has value to somebody. Therefore, we overshare. We tell people too much about our lives and our likes and dislikes, yet nothing about ourselves. We live these seemingly-perfect lives behind a computer or smartphone screen, and leave our real selves to be hidden in some far-off corner of reality.
It’s a little like the titular character in the Wizard of Oz. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” the voice booms, supplemented by fog and pyrotechnics (and, yes, a filter). We have all become our own Wizards of Oz, calculating what about ourselves is important, such as listening to that pop star that you don’t particularly care about, but everyone else does, so you give him a chance (and another, and another, and another…). We don’t show our pale skin, or our zits, or our love of The Golden Compass over Harry Potter.
Through social media, we have all become carbon copies of one another, and have forgotten how to truly be social individuals. When we go out to eat, we stand in front of the restaurant, scrolling through Twitter. Then, when our friends show up, we go inside and Instagram our food.
When we leave, we go home and post about our “amazing night” on Facebook, and delete said post if nobody likes it.
People wonder why our generation has so many social issues, so many worries, so many problems. It’s because we’re living lives behind the safety of touchscreens and keypads. We don’t experience art, music, beauty, or anything in person anymore. We don’t communicate, unless it’s through an app. We’ve forgotten how to live, and we’ve forgotten how to survive without technology and social media.