I just started using Twitter and Instagram and after writing a 68 page thesis paper on Facebook and using data from over 300 people collected anonymously it feels like the more I know about social media, the less I actually understand it.
We are all living in a giant forest called life. Some of us look at the forest, some of us look at the trees and some of us look at individual leaves. We all live in the same universe; it is what we prioritize that makes us who we are. It is what we prioritize that brings us to where we are and allows us to create bonds with others.
(Their love of phones is what brings them together)
With social media attempting to have us view the forest as a whole, it has unintentionally made us focus on the small communities we feel comfortable in. Although it allows us to network, it is also easy to lose yourself in a small group of people and the numbers they accumulate. After a while, you no longer choose the importance these numbers have in your life. After a while, these numbers are all you have to base your judgement on. The reason why we have allowed this shift of importance to happen is, because we have unintentionally robbed ourselves of our humanity. Although I believe that we should talk more and write letters, this is not the point I am trying to make, this is deeper than just choosing to be human.
(Just because you see them doesn’t mean they are real)
Less than a decade ago one would only need to be around others to know who in fact was kind and who was only pretending to be so. Social media has made it difficult for us to know the intentions of others. Social media has silenced our instincts. We have begun to rely on numbers to tell us what good is, because we can no longer feel it. No one is choosing to make numbers important; the fact of the matter is that most of the time numbers are all we have when it comes to making important judgments about others. Although judging is in some ways wrong, it is also a very important survival instinct. If we can no longer properly judge the people around us, then how do we know we are making the right decisions? The world is full of people and the way we view each other matters.
(there is no equation to figuring out your gut)
In this search for truth we have developed computerized instincts. These instincts are a combination of what is left of our gut and the rules, manipulations and numbers of social media. Regardless of how advanced we have become in adjusting to the way we now interact with each other, nothing can ever replace raw instinct and gut. The next step in knowing is acknowledging that we care enough to make this knowledge common. Where the intellectual fear to go (because we are too busy looking at the forest) the fools will take over. And whether we like it or not, forests are composed of trees in which in turn are composed of leaves and a forest without leaves is just barren wood.
We should acknowledge that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, ect, are now a greater part of our lives. When there are services specializing in purchasing likes, views and followers for personal accounts we have to acknowledge the effect social media has on us and reclaim our humanity. Having 100 non purchased likes will never replace talent, but having thousands is proof that you have talent, because at that point you have people who love your work, not support your work, because they know you personally.
There is a fine line, but we do have to remember that there is one and not be afraid of reminding those around us that it’s there…. even if we might not yet know where it lies.
Twitter and Instagram:@quartervida