A shift has occurred in priorities where one prioritizes looking up his phone to see what new applications are there to download. Friends will hang out but do not converse at all, due to the important IM (instant messages) each one is getting. One has to understand that a smart phone is to be utilized, not idolized. I personally think it is extremely disrespectful to have a conversation with someone, and halfway through the conversation they check their smart phone for twitter or what ever reason.
“My life, my rules,” you will tell me, but isn’t it sad that you can’t spare a few hours with your friends without a gadget in your hand? One has put all his hopes and dreams onto his smart phone; his tasks, work email, private email, camera, social life, audio books, music, and contacts are all in this gadget. He might as well get a bed that appears out of the blue through some application. I can’t deny that the gadget craze has taken over me as well, that red light that blinks on the phone (in the case of blackberry) makes me curious the second I get a glimpse of it.
Has it become the norm for two people to sit together and not speak at all? Just to add a few comments and compliments in the awkward silence? Individuals are working on making their facebook, twitter, path, and other social media accounts more interesting than themselves; they are posting photos of where they are, the latest meal they had, the gift they got, and the people they love the most.
People tend to forget the meaning of the word privacy; you can even tell whether they are depressed, happy, scared, confused, or tired. It became easy to know their state of mind by seeing it bluntly written through their posts or their statuses. I only wonder what do they gain from exposing themselves in such a way, is this what self-expression is about nowadays? Because I thought people express themselves through their hobbies and interests.
People can express themselves through their photography, writing, painting, and much more. A smart phone connects people together, and it sure is fun to have some nice photos on the display picture, but exposing every detail of one’s life may become pathetic. Various social networks exist, but I don’t understand why people choose to cope with having so many social networking accounts; to them it becomes a task where the facebook page must be checked, twitter must be updated, who commented on my linkedin account, and am I the mayor yet for this area on foursquare, and so on. I feel people are pressuring themselves and trying too hard to use every social tool there is. The social media craze will only further people from reality and who they really are.
However the pros of social media are many and I’m not talking about the effectiveness of being connected and clichéd ideologies, I’m speaking of what has become on twitter the greatest gift anyone can offer. For example, I have long admired a person before ever reading their tweets or knew anything about them on social media websites, and I’ve even heard that this person is very respectful. Unfortunately, the end-result of this story is that I check their twitter page and realize their timeline is pathetic & accumulated with curses and ideas that are degrading.
You see on twitter individuals that would have influence on society and hold executive roles, but then you read their tweets and you wonder, how and why did this happen. The ability you have to pre-assess an individual from reading their tweets and whom they follow is one of the many advantages of social media.
The time we spend on our gadgets and social media accounts is all considered an investment of our time. For every investment you make, there will always be a compromise. Sometimes the compromise is worth the investment and sometimes it is not. We have become accustomed to a world where mothers invite their kids to lunch through IM and friends plan gatherings through social media “save the date” invite. Life is about creating change within our community, and that won’t come from staring at that gadget’s screen. The community is holding on tight to a technological sinking ship that has stripped us from valuing time, people, and life.