Yesterday in class, we watched a video about communication in the 21st century. This video was a slap in the face. I know that people are obsessed with their phones, but this really put it into perspective. This past year, I have become friends with a lot of “famous” Instagramers. My first Instafamous friend had 36,000 followers. How awful is that? I would feel so much pressure if I had that many followers. I know she was, because she would tell me what time of day to post photos to get more likes, what kind of photos, and things like that. She claimed she wasn’t obsessed with Instagram, but I knew she was. It’s so easy to get obsessed with social networks and I can’t imagine how much more intense it gets with 36,000 people awaiting your cool posts. Throughout the summer, I met a lot more Instagramers. They all had one thing in common: they never put down their phones. I am a huge fan of putting down my phone and interacting with people. It’s something I’ve been working on for almost a year. It’s hard, but it’s freeing. I remember one night, I was with a large group of Instagramers after a long day of exploring and taking iPhone photos. We were sitting at a round table and though we were all facing each other, everyone was staring at their phones. I got their attention and said, “I have an idea. How about we put all of our phones in the center of the table and whoever picks up their phone first has to pay for everyone?” They looked at me like I was an idiot. One by one, they made excuses. “I’m texting my mom.” “I don’t have money for that.” And so my idea was shot down and they went on liking photos and statuses of people they’d never met.
Our generation is so good at loving things and using people, instead of the other way around. In those Instagram relationships, I found that I was only there to pose in a cool photo. They didn’t ask about my life. They didn’t truly care what I had to say. And that’s rough. It’s extremely hard for me to find people who love people more than their phones. And that’s something I never thought I’d have to say.
I’m sure you’ve watched this video before, but I encourage you to watch it again and think about it.