I’m not one of those people who feel that technology will overtake our primitive desire for real human interaction but there is no denying that Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg’s involvement in the phenomenon that is social media has impacted on humanity in ways that I would never have anticipated.
Technology and social media have almost erased the demand for the private family photo album or personal diary but on occasion I do ask myself…
Generally speaking is everyone really that happy all the time!?
I know it would feel strange to arrive at my Facebook newsfeed and be greeted with images of miserable imagery or dull status posts but I’m just not sure that social media is a true reflection of reality at all?
Throughout the festive/new year period a good friend of mine used this time to break up (or should that be break out?) of their most recent relationship and proceeded to share the status of this news via social media. Almost like Cole Sear I have developed a particular sixth sense sensitivity to these situations as during the summer I recently set myself the task of doing the same thing.
While doing some very laidback, casual research I came across some insightful information…
This period of uncoupling has even garnered a holiday-themed name: the turkey drop. It’s when you’re in a relationship, happily going about your Christmas shopping, and then right before you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner your boyfriend says, “We need to talk.”
It’s not easy to end a relationship, however I’ve already dedicated two blog posts to the subject (the aptly titled It Takes Courage To Break Up (Yeah I Said It!) and It Takes Courage To Break Up (Yeah I Said It!) Part II) so I won’t wade through the murky waters of that subject again, but once I was made aware that my friends Facebook status had changed from “in a relationship” to “single” I did my best Lieutenant Columbo impression and painstakingly combed through their most recent Facebook posts/entries for any clues that lead to such a conclusion.
It’s safe to assume there is a slow and sweltering build up of tensions before things reach boiling point in a relationship? Yet social media channels gave me no indication that such an event was on the horizon. Which got me thinking that people use social media to give us an edited version of their reality and to make matters worse I discovered I am not immune from this socially digital condition.
For the first time in a long time I went out on New Years eve to an over crowded, over priced venue where the DJ was self serving and the best non alcoholic option aside from warm room temperature water was warm room temperature coke, but despite all these adverse and annoying situations do you know what I did? I posted a picture of the fireworks by the river!
On my return journey back from Berlin (on arrival to the UK) our aircraft flew into the wrong terminal, all connecting trains from Gatwick international airport were cancelled and the replacement bus service delayed the journey home by over an hour…and although I was tired and weary…did I mention any of this in my Facebook status? I was only brave enough to post “Glad to finally be home!”
I have to wonder if with social media there is an inherent pressure to play an upbeat melody at all costs? I do understand why the impressionable minds of the adolescents feel the pressure to conform but does that mentality spill over into the minds of fully formed adults? Has that mentality influenced my own mind!??
Objectively I can say that I never use my Facebook account to promote an overly sugar coated version my reality but like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it is clear that my Facebook content only shows a well edited movie trailer which doesn’t reveal the full content of the film.
So more than ever I realised that blogging is my preferred digital home because with blogging comes an inherited audience that wants to bite into more than just a snapshot or a sound bite. Blogging seems to attract people who aren’t afraid to talk about the struggle, the effort, the joy, the pain, the anxiety or the turmoil of the journey in this thing we call life.
I hadn’t really set many new targets for the beginning of 2016, but one of them is to continue enjoying and exploring the canvas of digital expression because more than any other socially digital medium I feel blogging allows people to swim in the depth of human experience a little deeper. So while I don’t take easy swipes at Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter blogging has at least allowed me the opportunity to be more considered, develop my writing style and find the range in my voice.
Thanks Matt Mullenweg, I owe you one!
Until next time