A few days ago, the guy that I have a heavy duty crush on called me. So, naturally, in a panic I dropped my phone onto my bed and ran into the other room. I didn’t respond until a whole day later via text, and I said something like, “sorry, I’m an airhead” (apparently I’d rather admit to being a moron than hearing a human voice). For the second month in a row, a notice has appeared on my phone stating that I had exceeded my allotted G usage and that my internet will be slowing down (so now it takes me about 10 minutes to Google Challenge anything, ugh!). One time my father walked into my room and bewildered, he asked, “are you on your phone, listening to the radio, or watching television?!” before plopping down before my laptop because he neeeeded his daily dose of Colombian news. I deactivated and activated my Facebook account an estimated 175 times before I finally let that shit go. Just call me Ms. Roboto.
We have dinner with our spouses, our children, and our smartphones. When it gets uncomfortably silent in a room, we scroll through our phone. Even when it’s comfortable in a room, we scroll through our phone. When an old lady with a Brillo-type fro says “bless you, chil’” after we sneeze we don’t hear it cause we’ve got our headphones blaring. When it’s time to remember an actor’s name or what a part of the brain is called, we Google. We collide with complete strangers in the street because we’d rather laugh into our screens than watch our feet.
Why exactly do we share so much of ourselves on social media? Could it be because we are looking for affirmation, validation? It seems like the more likes and comments we get, the better we feel about ourselves. We never post something in hopes that everyone ignores it, do we? We base our levels of self-esteem on the amount of attention we can attract on a greasy, cracked screen.
“You are so smart!” “Your kid is soooo cute!” “You look beautiful!” (and there’s always the random creep: “lookin bangin’ mama, you single?”). Would our lunches be any less delicious, our Saturday night outfits any less sexy, or our children any less amazing if it weren’t shared with 432 other people? And while looking for confirmation that we are indeed doing things right and that we are awesome and talented, we scroll down our newsfeeds and internally compare ourselves to our peers, to how pretty so-and-so is and how awesome someone else’s job is and how you wish you were on vacation, too.
I can tell you what happens when you are no longer on Facebook. First of all, no one really notices. Second, you won’t have 432 people wishing you a happy birthday. It’ll just be a handful, those that actually care about you. And it’ll be that same handful who take you out for a drink when you get a new job. And third, you feel awesome at not having to know how many pushups so-and-so did this morning (Hallelujah!). But what about your biggest fans on Instagram and Twitter and Linkedin and WordPress? Yeah, they can’t be bothered to say hi to you at the supermarket. Why? Cause their noses are shoved into their phone, that’s why.
I don’t think that we are necessarily bad human beings because of this. I’m not saying we are negligent parents or friends. There is absolutely no way to ignore the technological bombardment which we have been given. All I am trying to ask is: whatever happened to having actual conversations or looking each other in the eyes? Or simply enjoying ourselves, in the moment? What happened to common courtesy or complimenting each other in person (or people we actually know, for that matter)? Where has the warmness and finesse of human interaction gone? What happened to liking ourselves for being just that, ourselves? Does everything need a like?
Speaking of likes…
Be a doll and go share my thoughts on Facebook and get as many likes as you can! Go!