So… I deleted Instagram from my phone. A bold move and one that I have done many times but have never fully committed to. But, the other night I was thinking about millenials and how everything is so focused on technology, including flirting, friendships, and overall appearances. I cannot count how many conversations I’ve had that started with,
“Well, he liked this picture I posted last week, but hasn’t liked anything since. He clearly isn’t interested.”
“He liked a picture I posted like 5 months ago, he clearly took his time to look through my pictures, meaning he’s interested.”
If anyone from the past could hear these conversations they would assume that we’re a totally disconnected generation who relies on their tiny devices for social gratification. They’d be totally right, but this is the way relationships are done these days. Whether you look through dating sites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. you can find ways to talk/stalk/flirt with whomever you’re interested in. You can send them a specific Snapchat just to get their attention, you can like a picture they posted of something irrelevant and boring, you can like their Facebook links that indicate they read The New Yorker, you could favorite their Tweets, and the list goes on and on. But is this way of flirting making us socially awkward? Like will seeing this person in real life be extremely uncomfortable because you only know how to double tap your phone screen to show your interest? Or will you accidentally tell your first date that you already know what their favorite band is. I worry that people are going to forget how to interact without Internet help and we’ll all get stuck in a weird limbo where we want to go out and meet people, but won’t know how to interact with humans and will end up settling for various media outlets instead. Granted, I know that social media does help many stay in touch with friends and know what events are going on, but I definitely believe it has made many of us awkward as fuck in person.
Besides making everything awkward, social media sets up false standards for a way of living. I mean, you may think you know a person based on their Instagram pictures of their tattoos, mimosas, and dog, but they could be a total psycho in real life. Just because someone is posting their best parts of their lives doesn’t mean that they actually are what they’re displaying online. We might be putting people on a pedestal they don’t even deserve, just because they have awesome filters via the Internet.
I guess what I’m trying to say through this rant, is that I wish people (including myself) wouldn’t rely so heavily on social media and the Internet for a way of interacting with others. It’s a false reality that people can manipulate into anything they want, making us all seem like a different version of who we really are. I mean I’m not saying we should give up social media, like there are pleanty of people I wouldn’t have reconnected with if it weren’t for Facebook, but there’s only a certain extent we should use social media for making a connections. Working on actually making human interactions can be scary and it’s easy to hide behind a screen instead of actually talking to someone, but where’s the fun in that?