It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought… it figures
Alanis Morisette’s song for me epitomises what social media is really, it is ironic for it makes you more asocial than it makes you social.
How many of us have heard – “Why don’t you put down your phone and focus on here and now?”
Restaurants are Foursquare check-ins and well, weekend parties mostly make it to the page 3 section on Facebook. A bad/good experience is always shared on twitter or on your personal blog. Obviously there are more platforms but these are the immediate ones that come to my mind.
Do we prefer a twitter handle over the person in front of us to make some conversation? I would be guilty of a ‘yes‘ there. Many a times I’ve forgotten that I’m out with friends or even my husband, to be sternly reminded that the updates and check-ins can wait, the moment right now won’t. And top it all, as Foursquare in India doesn’t offer all that much in terms of rewards, all it ends up being is an ego massage at the leader board.
Also not to forget how we manage or don’t manage to dodge cars on a road crossing and avoid potholes while tweeting/updating/reading!
Social sharing at times ends up alienating us from our immediate surroundings, but try sharing information with people in real life, and they’ll probably go off to sleep or ask you to shut up. Online everyone is free to engage or ignore, “come into my lair said the spider to the fly”. Hence I prefer people online, the worst they’ll do is unfriend or unfollow you.
Another rhetoric that comes to my mind is would I rather talk to people whose names I don’t know but whose handles I do. People might agree or disagree with this. The ones who disagree might not be that fond of twitter. The ones who agree are the ones who share and prefer to maintain their social identity online as their alter ego.
Personally Social Media is my newspaper, it’s my phone call and it’s what comes to me very naturally. It’s a ritual to read my timeline before I go to sleep and the first thing in the morning, even before the real paper comes in. Often when you can’t sleep and the TV gets boring .. well you get social.
It is addictive and those who do manage to find the balance don’t have to be reminded to put down their phones or other devices. But for those who don’t, it becomes difficult to attend, say, a social function without constantly wanting to reach out for the phone purely for comfort lest someone comes over to make uncomfortable conversations.
You can love it or you can hate but you cannot ignore the B**** that it is.