Natalie Proctor takes a long hard look at our technophilic society and asks – what’s so social about social media?
It is impossible to avoid technology in this day and age. It is everywhere. One glance up on a bus and you will see almost every person indulging in some technology. Whether it be an iPhone, iPod, tablet or sometimes even laptop, it feels as if we’re all constantly plugged in. On top of this, the introduction of social media to the world has changed the way we experience everything in life. In fact, you could say, we experience very little that does not reach the medium of the internet. Even our meals seem to pop up online within minutes! So what does all this mean for us? Are we, instead of getting in touch with the world – losing all real interactions with the present?
We have all experienced that time where you are sat across from someone who is more interested in their phone than your company. Or worse, are currently updating their status to ‘Just chillin with my girls’ rather than really listening to a word you have to say.
We have all experienced the endless Facebook statuses, campaigns and pranks that make us appear to be far more interesting then we really are. Even our pictures present a life that we want others to see and often not the one we really lead.
We have all experienced that horrific week or so when our laptop is broken, or our phone is lost and we suddenly feel helpless in the world. Even those of us who feel as if we rely little on these pieces of equipment feel stranded, as the online world continues without us. This feeling speaks volumes about the way in which our world leans upon technology for the smallest things. But more than this, in these times, we are forced to take a look around us and actually see the world as it is. When you do this, all you see is the tops of heads as people immerse themselves in the online projection of a social life, rather than really enjoying it as it comes.
Technology is useful, educating, and enjoyable but it is also becoming more and more unavoidable. Sometimes we forget that we are supposed to be listening to a gig rather than recording it. Sometimes we forget that we are supposed to be enjoying our friends’ company rather than arranging who you will see next. And sometimes we forget that the world is going on around us whilst we watch a dull representation of it online. All in all, it seems as if we are increasingly becoming ill equipped for actual social interaction, much like cavemen, merely grunting in reply whilst we upload on Twitter.