#ManCandyMonday. Emojis. iOS8. Instagram. #ootd. Timehop.
5 years ago these terms did not exist. Now, everyone and their 2 year old sister are not just aware of these “words,” but use them on the daily, possibly even the hourly. They are embedded in this era’s dialogue, habits, and hobbies. Me? I check my Instagram every spare ounce of down time that presents itself. I check Twitter about once a day, Facebook maybe four times, and pin around ten to twenty pictures on Pinterest EVERY SINGLE DAY. Grandma; if you are reading this, you may feel a sense of shame thinking that your granddaughter is a social media-aholic. I am truly sorry for the shock in statistics. If you are a human being between the ages of 12 and 22, you may feel utter embarrassment. Not for me though. For yourself. Because you aren’t too far away from my addiction. In fact, yours may even be worse.
I had an experience this evening that I felt the need to share. I was having a pleasant dinner meal with a few friends from school. We chatted briefly about the events of our day, ate our ravioli, and then…silence. It wasn’t the kind of silence after someone said something a little “off.” It wasn’t the silence of exhaustion or boredom, or any of these common things. It was a natural silence. The kind that is peaceful, almost a gift sent from above. But what might you ask did we do with this beautiful quiet moment? The 4 of us all grabbed our phones, as if the doctor was testing our reflexes by tapping our knee. Silence=pick up phone, start scrolling.
We lost it. We lost the “naturalness.” The connection that we once had to each other was now put to our news feeds. As expected, the conversation later came back and we continued eating but that moment was lost, along with so many other moments in our daily lives due to the addiction to social media. The reflex is so painfully common.
I’m not trying to bash on social media, for it has so many benefits and connects people through technology in such productive ways. And who am I to talk? I’m the girl who has an Instagram post at last once a day. What I AM saying: don’t let the beautiful lives sitting across the table from you be ignored. Don’t let the perfect portrayal of someone else’s life through a post or a status dominate the raw and real one right in front of you.
Accept the silence. “Like” more than just posts and statuses. “Comment” in ways that are not just through a keyboard. Talk. Listen.
Just don’t lose the moments.