^^I apologize in advance to technology, as I am currently listening to Radiohead as I write these words.
There is no denying the fact that our world has become consumed with itself*. We pride ourselves on highlighting everything we do, whether it be from the fantastic to the downright mundane. We feel the need to share everything with everyone. Now, before there is any doubt, I AM a fan of social media**. I have a Facebook and Twitter account, and I tend to check it at a compulsive rate. I am a curious individual who is interested in the world around him. But here’s the thing: Where did privacy go? With the emergence of social interactive sites like Facebook and Twitter, the world has begun to grow smaller while simultaneously increasing in population.
I once remember a life without the internet. A life where I had to actually open up a book and research material for an important school project. A time in which I had to actually (physically) go to the local cinema in order to view a movie, let alone an actual movie trailer (instead of lying on the couch and flipping open my laptop or phone).
I remember fondly going to the music store to purchase CD’s, as there was no other way to purchase music at this time (Although, a few years away, Napster and Limewire existed in the premonitions of James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich).
But perhaps the greatest loss I feel with the progression of technological achievement is the absence of one simple question: “What did you do this weekend”? Remember back in school (If you are above the age of 25) when you would say goodbye to your friends on a Friday knowing you wouldn’t see some of them again until Monday. You had no idea what they would be up to for the next two and a half days***. But I remember always looking forward to seeing them prior to first period on that Monday, and asking them, “What did you do this weekend”?
This question rarely circulates amongst casual, social conversations these days, and it is because of our new found obsession with interacting socially through the use of technological devices.
Don’t get me wrong. I am well aware that the citizens of society still do vacate their homes, at times. And Facebook is great at helping to coordinate events ranging from weddings to birthday parties. But what I am attempting to verbalize is that we, at all times of the day, know what our friends are doing. It is not simply just about the weekend-there is no mystery about our lives in general****.
For example, we know that two of our friends are going to the movies on a certain night because they have posted it on their Twitter account. We also see that they went to a party afterwards because of the pictures posted on the Facebook news feed a day later. Our friends post the pictures because they want to share those moments (that have no bearing on our lives) with US. And of course we ‘creep’ the pictures because that’s what we do as human beings. We’re curious creatures by nature*****.
Our world has evolved greatly since the inception of the Internet (both positively and negatively), and with it, social media and the emergence of highly advanced cellular phones. But yet, I still have no desire to return to a time once lived******. Yes I do sometimes yearn for simpler times, but I am well aware of all the advantages the present is providing for me.
With this being said, though, there are still moments that I wish I could ask, “What did you do this weekend?” without secretly already knowing the answer.
*The fact that devices are called iPod’s, iPads, and iPhones help to highlight society’s transition into the “I” generation
**I truly feel that it helps to connect the world. I can talk to a friend in Australia without ever worrying about long distance charges.
***Cell phones were a rarity. And text messaging did not exist.
****For this reason, high school and college reunions have become a pointless tradition.
*****But it does seem to have become more rampant than ever these days.
******Mainly because I understand that that is impossible to achieve.