In high school, my mom uniquely endorsed phone use, but only when I was using it to contact friends. She always valued human interaction and saw texting as an important way to form relationships. However, when it came to social media, she constantly condemned the countless hours I spent browsing the pictures of my acquaintances and learning about their latest vacation to the Bahamas or super delicious 3-scoops of ice cream that they ate after attending a Yankee game.
A typical afternoon at the Ardiff household consisted of this every hour:
“Kaitlin, get off of Facebook.”
“No, mom, I’m just texting.”
“No, you’re not. You’re on Facebook. Live in the present.”
“Live in the present” was always her mantra. Avoid dwelling on these old photos and instead focus on creating new memories. It was a great life lesson that took me a few years to learn, but something that I’ll always remember. Unfortunately, my teenage self was too caught up in knowing what everyone was doing and always denied my addiction to stalking on social media. But think about it: if we took the amount of minutes spent staring at someone’s pictures online and stared at the same person, but through a window, it’d be pretty darn creepy. So why is it that watching through a screen is so much more acceptable than in real life?
Unfortunately, the irony of social media is that it causes us to be antisocial. People post to show others that they’re fun, cool, and most importantly, way happier than you. Just scroll through your Snapchat and Instagram feed on game day. Everyone posts Snapchats of them beginning the tailgate at 10AM all the way to the post-game tailgate. Did you also happen to make pancakes with maroon and gold M&Ms? Did you also get overly excited at a cheeseburger cooked on a Mod grill? Did you and your roommates all pose for a group photo at a tailgate, covered in face stickers? Sadly, so did 300 of your closest friends. Everyone’s doing the same thing, and we post it in an effort to prove that we’re just as fun; in reality the fun comes from partaking in the events rather than posting about them. The fact is that we’re all too concerned with our appearance instead of how we engage with each other. And we’re in the need of a little revolution.
I, too, am a victim of the obnoxious Game Day snapstory.
Luckily, many organizations have capitalized on our dependence on appearance to promote their brands. Brands like Wendy’s and Casper are known for having an entertaining Twitter presence. Aerie contacts teens on Instagram and Snapchat to post pictures that promote their clothing. An active social media presence is vital for a business’s survival. Since society can no longer wait for a phone call, email response, or the 30 minutes that it takes to drive to the nearest mall, we expect company information in real time.
Businesses are shaping how we communicate and engage with each other. If Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Spiegel never existed, just image the horror of having to actually walk across the hallway to talk to a friend instead of being able to Snapchat them. If Instagram’s multiple attempts at copying Snapchat have proven one thing: it’s that social media is definitely here to stay. Only time will tell which human interaction that we take for granted will disappear into yet another digital convenience.
In our age of hiding behind phone screens, I’m incredibly excited to see how this class unfolds. I took this class because I had asked seniors what their favorite class was and multiple seniors all recommended this course as one of their favorites at BC. Blogging is something that I’ve always wanted to, but I’ve never been able to force myself to sit down and make it happen. As I continue to blog, I hope to push myself to really dive into issues that are transforming our lives today. It’s crazy to think that in 20 years something like blogging may already be obsolete. As I conclude this post, I can only think of how many Facebook photos and Instagram pictures I’ll scroll through tonight. Here’s to a great semester of trying to navigate the ever-changing world of digital business, and hopefully less obnoxious Game Day snapstories.