I was drafting a new article the other day about the issues we all have with communication and was struggling, and today I stumbled upon a video that sums up my ideas perfectly.
I mean come on what happened to the art of conversation? I now see people sat in rooms, phone in hand, notifying the virtual world of all that they have planned. It’s all: “chilling with their bitches and having an awesome time” but no one is speaking. It’s scary how we can go ages without talking.
I woke up this morning and the first thing I did was check my phone. I had a few notifications on Facebook: You have been tagged in umpteen photos. I then proceeded to untag and comment on some, scrolling through my timeline, seeing nothing wrong. Half an hour later I thought it would be a good idea to get up, and then I found this video that really woke me up.
I realise I update my Facebook more than I update my family on my life. I have 479 friends but only a small percentage I’d call true. The people I want to share things with aren’t on the other side of the screen but far beyond my reach on the other side of my door.
Conversation cannot be had without the words “I saw this on… Facebook, Instagram, Twitter”. How does taking a picture of your dinner make it any better? We are consumed by the need to put our mark on the world, notifying others who do not give a damn what we’ve done.
We would rather have the approval and ‘likes’ of strangers, making connections, sharing ideas, videos and pages. I will admit I am entirely guilty of such things. For example instead of walking up a flight of stairs to ask my house mate something, I will most likely text them. We also have a house page and group message to ‘stay connected’ but it seems to make us even more disconnected. So rather than gather in the lounge which is five steps away, we discuss issues through an emotionless internet gateway.
It’s a terrible thing seeing kids being brought up on Ipads and computers, living in the virtual world rather than the real one. When I was a child I used to play out in my street, until it got dark or it was time for tea. I would collect spiders, ride my bike, and invent new worlds. I would roll down hills, and sit on my bins pretending I was the Queen. I had grass stains on my knees not a tablet, an imagination to play with not an Xbox or gadget.
If I don’t have my phone on me I feel a little lost, but being that dependant on something comes at a cost. It seems we’re all living without really seeing. If we all looked up long enough to see what life was really about we would all be winning.
How can it be called social media when it’s anything but social? We are slaves to something we’ve created, paying more attention to the lives of others whilst ours awaited. Get up off your sofa, switch off your phone, go out into the world and give life a go.
I challenge you all to go offline for 48 hours.
Here’s the video: