How You Just Gon’ Leave Me in this Social Experiment?

By: Josiv Danart

It’s 2015 and we’re finally witnessing the biggest experiment our world has ever seen and we, the Millennials, are forced to analyze the very position that we’ve been placed in.

The Internet.

Who knew what the Internet would become? Who knew how big social media would become? It’s the post-human extension that we love to talk about, and yet, there are so many issues with our immediate world because of it.

The greatest post-human extension created, the smartphone, has become the platform for ignorance, laziness, and relational disconnect. It makes you think “how much are we willing to lose from our already short lives by losing ourselves in our Blackberries, our iPhones, by not paying attention to the human being across from us who is talking with us, by being so lazy that we’re not willing to process deeply” from Joshua Foer’s TEDTalk, Feats of memory anyone can do.

Our faces have begun to morph into the ten digits we hold so precious. All we have are our fingers…they’re doing the talking now. Are you ready for that? How do you feel about it? We’re striving this sense of validation from people who we’ve never seen before via this ratio. Your credibility somehow shot if you’d rather follow more people than you are followed, as if Twitter dictates the way we guide our own lives. The leaders of social media have figured out the allure of having few people to follow and an outrageous number of followers. People are starting to figure out how to tweet to get attention… and we’re realizing that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat are consuming the Millennials’ life.

Here, we have the Internet destroying the way we even experience and capture memories. Never again will we go to a concert, a movie, a Broadway show, the park, through life without having other people outside our social groups knowing exactly what we’re doing (Holla back to Snapchat for the instantaneous glimpse into other people’s lives who we otherwise wouldn’t care for! You the realest.) This app is bringing the words “No picture, no proof” into full effect.

“The more we use social media and the younger we start to use it, we’re getting more and more into this attention-seeking mindset, so it’s like that in that mindset, you think about what you can do for your own personal fun, but you still have that urge to show people that you’re having fun and showing off a little bit” says Saskia Jabalon, a Rutgers University sophomore.

We’re being conditioned to walk, talk, and act like we’re heartless as if we aren’t born as selfless human beings dependent on attention and affection in order to fulfill this falsified sense of “cool.” What even is cool? Who even is cool? Why are we so fixated on the notion of this indefinable concept?

The ubiquity of the Internet and our inability to turn it off raises questions of self-care. Take time to delete all of your social applications from your phone for a week…a month… read a book and focus on understanding things not easily defined in 140 characters. Recently, self-care on social media’s become a large topic in light of the recent attacks that highlight issues with police brutality.

Social media has doubled as an ego booster. Every time someone gets followed, they know that someone wants to hear what they have to say or someone likes the way you look in your pictures. This sense of validation that externally perpetuates the many identity issues of our generation originated from the World Wide Web. Mind you, that feeling of acceptance comes at the backend of the “selfies” movement, spending 20 to 25 minutes at a time making sure you have the picture that’s “just right.”

Social media has stripped away the context out of our daily lives and now we’re forced to create something of it.

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