Saturday, January 25, 2014

Have Social Networks Removed Us From Reality?

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. If you're old enough.. Myspace. Blackplanet. and the list continues. Over the last 10 years social networks have become the means of communication, advertising and for some an avenue to show off. Facebook has gone from a social network only accessed by college students to a website that is used to report breaking news on CNN. Who am I to deny the fact that I spend hours scrolling through endless timelines. If Facebook is dead I switch to Instagram. If Instagram if flooded by #tbt posts Twitter helps me keep up on what people are randomly thinking at any given moment. But when is this all just too much?

With the ability to keep in touch with family and friends, promote your business and all the other great things social networks have to offer I find myself beginning to wonder... Have social networks removed us from reality? Imagine this scenario... You go out for a nice night with friends you haven't seen in a while. Everyone is so excited to see one another when you arrive. After hugs and kisses the party sits at the table and small talk begins. Slowly but surely the cell phones start to emerge from under the table. One person is viciously scrolling through their timeline to get a quick laugh. The next person passes their phone around for everyone to laugh at another Kevin Hart photo just posted. The food is served. EVERYONE pulls out their cellphone to take a picture of their meal. These moments on our phones have robbed us from the memories that we will never get back while they are happening right in front of us. As much as I love Beyoncé, what she's eating for the day isn't more important than the blue sky above me as I'm sitting next to the one I love.

Scrolling. Scrolling. Scrolling. Have you ever found yourself awake at 2am scrolling through Instagram? You have to be awake for work in a few hours but you can't seem to put your phone down. Finally you fall asleep. You wake up and you're back to scrolling again. You think to yourself "Man she's always out having fun!" "He has all the hottest kicks. He must have money." Unfortunately we now live in a time where we need to be constantly stimulated. If we don't have something happening that very moment "boredom" and self-loathing creep in. A lot of people fail to remember that social networks are also highlight reels. You see people at their happiest, when they're reaping the benefits or when they're indulging. Let us not forget there is a story behind every photo. There is a credit card bill behind that girls new pair of Louboutin's that she just posted. Those new Jordans that the local sneaker head just got were purchased in alley way because his friend stole them from Foot Locker. My point is things aren't always how they seem. You see people living it up but the backstory could be something totally different. That girl who travels all over was broke a year ago and she finally landed a job after losing everything. You never know what someone is going through. Keep yourself from getting sucked in to the hype. Don't allow your mind to tell you you're not good enough and things aren't happening for you because you're watching someone's highlight reel while comparing it to your behind the scenes.  All things come with great sacrifice.

I know that social networks are not all bad. They've definitely helped me with my career. I do encourage you to take a moment and live your life. Put down your phone, close your laptop and enjoy the things that life has to offer. Hear the birds chirp. Spend time with a loved one. Master that hobby that you've always wanted to. Refrain from staring at your phone a majority of the day and see what life has to offer. I promise you it'll be worth way more than the likes you get on a new post.

Be safe. Be free. Be you. Always.
With Love.

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