Saturday, 14 January 2017

double-edge sword

Yes I know I write a blog but besides that I don't have a presence on social media because I have a deep seated aversion to it.

The sheer banality of posting pictures of your breakfast, publicizing your particular mood at that very instant, a cat or dancing baby video or showing a bunch of mostly strangers where you went on vacation completely baffles me.

I had to get off Facebook when I began to not be able to stomach much of what my own extensive family was posting. I wasn't using it very much at all, but when I did, I would notice that even family gatherings and birthday wishes were being posted there rather than outright calling the person.

I recently attended a wedding that had me sitting at a table with some millennials. Some of them were openly taking selfies and posting them on social media rather than make conversation during dinner. I was a little taken back and I realize that not every young person is like this. But we do live in an age of instant gratification and where people who lack self-assurance might be tempted to seek validation through prolific posting and amassing of social media contacts as compensation.

Not long ago I watched an episode of a Netflix program called “Black Mirror” which is not dissimilar to the old Twilight Zone series. This particular episode had people interacting and after every encounter they would point their cell phones at each other and rate the experience. The higher the score the more popular you were and this would then impact the type of apartment you could get in the right neighborhood or even get you the right fiancĂ©e.

The moral of the story is that the young woman whose life temporarily unravels when her score drops due to a series of unfortunate events, encounters a 60 year old woman who has fallen off the social acceptability grid but who is also deeply happy because of it. She had simply unplugged from a society where her value was measured through the opinion of others.

In an era where you can be famous for simply being famous and where the president elect of one of the most powerful countries in the world (who also happens to be a classless and vengeful idiot) brandishes social media as a weapon, it will interesting thing to see whether the episode I watched proves to be prophetic.

Like everything else, technology and being connected is a double-edged sword and can be used and misused in a myriad of ways.


2 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you about social media. I do not have an account on any social media. I do call my family member and talk to them on the phone weekly and visit them as often as possible.
    I was listening to a news program on NPR yesterday that was about millennials in the police force. The young people were taken to a mall in uniform and then in civilian clothes to learn how to interact with people. It was a sad story about something they should have learned in school and from their families.

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    1. I suppose its what you get used to but I find its information overload and most of it is stuff you don't need to know...

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