Does anyone else think that social networking causes unnecessary drama among friends? This weekend, I had a close friend get angry with me because she assumed that tweets I posted were about her and her relationship, when they were, in fact, just witty comments that I was making towards a movie I was watching. I also had another friend get jealous over pictures that I have had posted for over two years. While these reactions were immature, to say the least, I understand where my friends were coming from in feeling the respective ways they did. I have felt similar feelings because of things that I saw on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, these feelings usually make me delete the said page for a while, in lieu of getting too wrapped up in their implications. These hiatuses make me realize that these sites are just not that important in the big scheme of things.
It is difficult enough dealing with problems that arise because of posts that are made and I only check my sites once a day, if that. I truly feel bad for people a few years younger than us; kids who were theoretically raised by technology. These kids got cell phones, computers, and Facebook pages at significantly younger age than us twenty-somethings, as these things were had been adapted into the everyday lives of their older siblings, parents, and even just the media. Now it seems that mere toddlers are familiar with and know how to use devices such as iPods and iPads. My fourteen year old sister is logged in to her Facebook all the time on her iPhone and is constantly text messaging her friends to seemingly “stay in the know”. As my sister is by no means what one would consider a overly tech-obsessed teenager, it is obvious that this is just simply the way things have become.
A couple weeks ago, my mom asked me to call my sister downstairs to eat dinner. I proceeded to yell her name; however, she could not hear me because she was listening to music through her “Beats By Dre” headphones on her iPhone. My mom asked me why I did not just text her. I wound up walking up the stairs and knocking on her door (what a concept, right?!), but this made me realize just how immersed in technology our lives are becoming. My sister came down to eat phone-in-hand; however, my mom has a strict “no phones at the dinner table” policy, so she had to put it away before we commenced eating dinner. I approve of my mom’s rule, as I think that people are becoming too obsessed with holding conversations with their friends/”friends” in cyber space and not concerned enough with maintaining the relationships that they have with the people who are physically right in front of their faces. I have seen people almost get hit by cars while crossing the street while text messaging and have heard horror stories of catastrophic car accidents that people get into while texting and driving. People seem to always be in multiple conversations at once, talking to both people they can see and people they cannot. Some say that it is a way to keep their minds occupied. Some say it is just habit. For what purpose do we keep living like this? Multi-tasking degrades the quality of your out-put anyway. What is the point?
Do not get me wrong. Technology is awesome. It has made getting information a lot easier, has made situations that were formerly boring and dull (such as sitting in doctor’s waiting rooms and/or getting through a dragging lecture) much more entertaining, and has made getting things done so much faster. The sleek and aesthetically-appealing designs of the products we use has also come a long way in just a few short years. It just seems that, as time goes on and the technologies become better, faster, easier, and prettier, that we, as a society, become more and more obsessed with making it a part of our every action. And I am puzzled concerning the irony that, as our actions become more and more impersonal, we are starting to take things done through this technological medium more and more personal.