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Everyone has those pivotal moments of introspection in their lives where they realize certain things about themselves, whether its the day an overweight person sees themselves not living past 60, or the drug addict having that “aha” moment during an episode of intervention.
There are those moments in life that you simply cant ignore.
Recently I was reading a book called “Socialnomics” by Erik Qualman, as suggested by the president of the company I work for; and it discussed how social media has made us more productive.
I initially that, “WHAT…. PRODUCTIVE? It causes us to lose hours of our lives, simply strolling through creeping youtube vids, or creeping peoples profiles, and living vicariously through “The Rocks” Twitter account.
Then there is the wasted moments, where instead of enjoying the emotional throes of a situation, you stop to take a picture. Posting a shot of that Cupcake, or instead of toasting to a group of friends, you post for a picture to be uploaded to strangers instagram, hashtagged #yolo if you have a birth date that allowed you to grow up thinking hogwarts was a real place.
How could it possibly, in any way, be able to make us more productive.
It justified it by being able to save people trips to the grocery store because as they wait in line they could check facebook and send their kids back to grab a certain recipe. It mentioned how now people can learn how to do things themselves on youtube, making them more efficient.
But I still don’t think it quite downplayed the social time wasters that social media lends it to…
Like Candy Crush…
Not since Farmville have we seen a facebook game so effectively pacify a broad sampling of the general population!
However he brought up an interesting point, it allowed one to explore their past.
He brought up how most people have this lingering concern with HOW MUCH they have uploaded about themselves. How they go back and delete, or hide, or re-deploy their digital social lives. Everyone wonders where out there, that old Nexopia profile is hiding, waiting to come back and bite you in the ass.
At least thats where they were a few years ago, back when Facebook was like crack, and we would spend hours arguing with one another. There was this sudden explosion of conversation on the internet. It was the first time we ever really interacted with HUNDREDS of people we knew. It was the first time we ever had to worry about what someone was “saying about us on the internet”.
Plain and simple, we recognize the rate of which our word can explode. We all learned together, how to “RE-BOOT” our thoughts about how humans interact. Kids today now are literally born with a facebook presence.
That is an epiphany that we had to endure, that they will take for granted. Think about that, how happy are we that we got lucky enough to do some pretty dumb shit, before pictures could be instantly uploaded to the internet before we got a chance to sober up….
Social media has made us then transform our communication to represent positivity, we quickly learned that it would be easy to be hurt if we worried about what others thought. It became a world where we had to just keep positive because if we stoked a fire, we might get burnt in the process. There was a transformational twist in society, and we went from needing to make sure others knew what we thought, to now, not wanting to know what others thought and essentially only bragging on the internet.
“Look what Im eating”
“Look at what amazing thing Im eating”
“Heres 75 pictures of the baby, that has completely made my life, while it crushed my dreams, left me struggling, broke, and dealing with a gambling addict deadbeat dad for 18 years”
This isn’t because we stopped caring what others thought, we’re getting to that point though. First we needed to go through a stage of realizing how much it hurt to care about what others thought, and to simply shell up, and keep ourselves hidden. To pretend that “that isn’t like us”.
We were in our social media Puberty.
We were all masturbating to the sear christmas catalogue, but were too embarrassed to tell each other about it. We all had things we were wondering, we all had complaints, frustrations, but we didn’t want to admit it.
If we did, we simply say the 21st century equivalent to 15 hail mary’s by re-tweeting a bunch of pictures of cute cat videos. Effectively washing our social media sins down the drain with forced communicative labour.
Then the equivalent of the celebrity paparazzi comes along and you get posted on “The Dirty”, or maybe you didn’t, but someone you know did. Maybe its someone you like, or don’t, or after seeing the post switched one another. But the point is, almost all of us have in some way interacted with that site. Either directly or indirectly.
We learned that pictures could be posted of us, attached to words of truth or false, and they would be discusses as fact regardless, without us having any control, whatsoever. Without us having any recourse. Small fortunes have been made selling e-books and “kits” by discovering the sheer number of Google Searches for;
“How to get your post deleted off the Dirty”
Eventually learning that you are legally handicapped with 16th century censorship laws regarding “Free Speech” being integral to a free thinking society.
Not too sure about how one angry woman posting another angry woman’s face, and a second FAKE picture of her with a banana in her ass, STEM FIRST, on the internet for her boss to see, is necessary to have a free nation…. but alright.
I guess the politicians and celebrities who have the ability to make real change in this world figured it was about time the rest of us could be exposed for OUR little scandals since their lives are constantly scrutinized. I bet they giggle a little bit when they see us freak out about people judging us online.
But guess what, its here to stay, and even what we can control, and delete isnt going away. So we got to this stage of simply not giving a fuck. Now we have all seen enough peoples dirty laundry get posted on the internet to know we are all pretty fucked up from time to time. We all make mistakes, we all put our pants on one leg at a time, and occasionally fall asleep with them around our ankles on a toilet.
So now Social Media allows us to really look back at our lives, now that we keep mostly to positive braggadocios behavior, we can look back and assess if the “Bests” or our lives are still in line with our values today.
Sometimes people who at one point were so proud of their party lives, are later prone to brag about how they no longer love partying and now brag about the amazing dessert they are baking for their family, then realizing those are making you fat, and that now they brag about how “abs are made in the kitchen”…. in their first two weeks of dieting.
When so quickly piled on top of one another its easy to see that we are forced to reflect on our last week, and last life, as we clean up our profiles and erase passed moments. We are no longer trying to pretend they didnt happen. We know they did, and we are just saying goodbye to those old ways and being positive about the present. The faster, and more often we do this, and the more effective we get at assessing our choices, the better we can improve ourselves.
So make some time to go though your digital life and read your own story, find your obsessions, and see what maybe needs to change in your life. Im gonna go read a few of the posts that I have delete off this blog. Maybe I will make them public again soon?