Social Media both excites and appalls me. It is undoubtedly a crucial part of the way we live today however, like a lot of people, the gross invasion of privacy which is being deemed a natural turn is something which I’m not quite ready to accept with open arms.
If you watched Black Mirror (Channel 4, Dec 2011) then you’ll have seen several notions of how social integration are expected to pan out. In Black Mirror, there is an episode which shows all people having an Avatar – which all their social interactions are done through. The avatar can go to the park, the avatar can wear cool clothes, the avatar can watch their favourite rock band – the person cannot.
In this episode – the only way that a person can make something of themselves is to appear on an X factor type show and impress the judges. It shows that you don’t need metaphorical ‘conformity’ to sell out – which is a most accurate reflection of all of us.
Do your parents have a Facebook? What about your grandparents? Or your manager at work?
Through past relationships, social media has been nothing but a green eyed hindrance and through family and real close acquaintances I’m forever trying to hide (rather than expose) intricate details of my daily life.
Or whatever happened to being invited to a party and politely making an excuse as to why you can’t attend? Now it’s a Facebook invite which, if you publicly show you aren’t going, can’t then be questioned by anything else you do. I can’t ditch one event for another, because my entire “social circle” will see.
But then, that is what Black Mirror shows: Facebook isn’t the problem, nor is the advertising companies that fund it, the governments who allow it or the media who praise it. I am the problem.
I can sit and fault social networking for hours but can’t offer the realistic alternative to captivate the desires of people. We want it – so it’s there. We want to be able to see those details of other people’s lives. It’s a thirst for knowledge we all have – but just not the right knowledge. The old saying that curiosity killed the cat – have we, without realising, taken on the role of the cat?
The internet has, literally, entire libraries of information on them: People could continually learn for their whole lives and not have to pay a single penny for any of the material! Yet people seem to be blinded with the belief that what they want to know is what others are doing with their lives as it strokes our egos and makes us believe that other people are interested in what we are doing with our lives.
About to go to bed? Post it on Facebook. Just made a sandwich? Post it on Twitter.
We believe we are important enough that people care…and now we are all stuck in that mind-set of sharing useless trivia.