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Reclaiming the “Real” Life

I found an an interesting article on reclaiming our real life from social media. It’s funny, true, and thought-provoking.

If Hemingway were alive in 2014, he might not have finished what he started writing that day. Realistically, he probably wouldn’t have even put a pen to paper.
Instead, he might have ducked into the cafe, pulled out his smartphone and proceeded to waste an entire afternoon on social media. Perhaps he would update his Facebook to discuss the rogue weather, snap a picture of his café au lait to post on Instagram and then lose the rest of the afternoon to Twitter.

While I enjoy to see what my friends and family are up to, increasingly, my time spent on social media (only limited to Facebook) is starting to feel like a lot of wasted time. Like a virus slowly invading its victim, social media has methodically started to consume the hours of my day. I belong to the age bracket that spends the second most time on social media a day, at 3 hours. Gladly and proudly, I spend far less than 3 hours. Morning coffees, lunchtime breaks, time before bed, are still cordoned off for books. I still read at least 100 pages a day and roughly two books a week. So even if I’ll spend all day on weekend on Facebook, I won’t feel as guilty—but, I rather read a book.

Addiction aside. There’s deeper issue. We live in the age of narcissism. Walking down the street you can count the number of people you see pointing phones at their faces (now with the 3-foot long selfie stick) for selfies. Social networks are the “culprit” for broadcasting narcissistic tendencies that otherwise may have gone noticed. Simply speaking, everything you eat, every act, every place you go, are accounted for and broadcasted to the world. User-generated content like Facebook, twitter, and Instagram encourage an endless stream of self-promotion. At what point does this become psychologically destructive? People can get caught up in cultivating their own image rather than interacting with others. My worry (other than that I would stop reading books) is that we will be faced with a generation where everyone acts like the star of their own reality show.


4 Responses

  1. Unfortunately, you already see this in schools and even in those entering the workforce. We are creating a generation of self-obsessed divas. It is frustrating and scary and difficult to fathom for the older generations who don’t understand technology or social media.

    • I see more and more kids using ipads, especially in restaurants, as the parents want them to be occupied while maintaining a conversation. While the kids might learn through ipads, they might be raised up to be a generation that doesn’t know how to make a social connection.

  2. I love this post! Its spot on regarding social media and people’s obsession with it. I think its sad how people no longer care to experience a moment and instead would rather document it for their followers. I gave up FB and Twitter for Lent and have to admit that I loved being away from them both. And now that I can get back on both, I find myself not as interested in either. I’d rather spend the time I waste on FB and Twitter reading or actually socializing 🙂

    • We have to ask ourselves: is this really necessary to broadcast every little thing we do on social media? It’s obsession and narcissism to the extreme, and the new generation seems to think this is the way to live for the moment. So ironic. I find such overload of user-generated content very bothersome. I really cherish my privacy and times on my own.

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