From the past week, I have “digitally” run into these two articles: this one and this one.
I apologize in advance if this post reads like a stream of consciousness…it’s because it is. For topics like these (i.e. social media, sharing, Facebook, etc.), my mind and thoughts toward the subject matter are right in the middle- I cannot find myself leaning toward one way or another, but perhaps if I publish my thoughts, you can help me make my decision.
It is the 21st century, a time where we are in full-sharing mode. I don’t know whether it’s the compulsion to show people who we are through the internet or whether one is actually capturing these moments, genuinely. Here’s what I mean by that: I am guilty. I have Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, this WordPress, and I share a lot things on each. What I also do is selectively choose what I post on each social media account. *GASP* Now you know my secrets. I select and it differs. Now they’re similar…but different. Twitter is more of ‘story-vomit’ account. If you look at my IG, you’d think my life is only about bikes, food, and wit (ha!). On my Facebook, it’s a ‘here-I-found-this-link/story/picture-and-I’m-going-share-it” kind of interface. WordPress is a lot about feelings, you know that already.
The first article link talks about the increasing ‘share-effect’ we seem to have with the world. You should read it, it talks about this new gadget called Memoto which is a small camera that you clip to your shirt or hat and it takes a picture every thirty-seconds. It is literally documenting your every move…unless you stick it in your pocket or face it down on a table. What are your thoughts on this? What is the purpose of taking pictures now? It goes back to my previous paragraph: is it about the compulsion and your picture saying, “hey, here’s where I am, here’s what I’m doing, here’s who I am, look at me” OR “here, I’m taking a picture, I want to remember this moment right here forever and I want to document it”. I think there is a huge difference between the two but we are blurring the line that separates it.
The second article I came across last week is pretty popular, I’m sure you read it. The Relevant Magazine article entitled, “Instagram’s Envy Effect”. Yeah, I am very guilty for that. Even before this article I’ve thought about it and maybe you have too. This “internet reality” is kind of an oxymoron, no? We select 1 or 2 pictures, throw a filter, attach some hashtags and bing, bang, boom, that’s our life. But it’s not. It’s not all sun flares, vignettes, and clever captions (although, that’s what I think it is about sometimes…). This kind of Instagram envy, internet reality sucks you into this alternate way of thinking that a person’s social life is a mirror of their real life. It sounds stupid saying it out loud but there are countless times that I catch myself having these thoughts from the Relevant Magazine article. I mean, these articles resonate with me because I can relate, I am guilty!
What started as a way to connect almost became a competition to me. A competition to say, “look at all of these cool things that I’m doing but in reality I’m probably sitting on my computer reading articles like this.” Where I find myself torn on this matter is whether to continue to share. Again, it’s hard to in this context to really see what my intentions are. Am I sharing this to gain attention and views? Am I sharing this to pour out my soul and secrets of my social life? I think I’m somewhere floating in the middle. I’m not asking for views, I’m not telling you about my blood type, I’m simply sharing my thoughts and hoping you can relate. I think that’s what WordPress is for, that’s essentially why I write this blog anyway.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this- I’m having a hard time connecting the end of this blog post to the beginning of it. My participation in social media is something of an unstoppable force, not excusable by the industry I chose to go into, but rather my deep interest in the social media phenomena and I get caught up with it very easily. What I’m really trying to say is this- I’m going to be more conscious about it. Tell me if I’m sharing too much. Just tell me, “T.M.I.,**” because that’s what we used to say.
**T.M.I. = too much information