Likes, posts, comments – our society places way too much importance in these things. We spend hours taking photos, editing them, making sure we look flawless – but what are we actually doing this for? The likes? The “genuine” comments our “friends” make?
I am a young adult in today’s society, so I have experienced my own friends using their phones while we’re out for lunch. Look up. Social networks claim to bring us closer together, but I can’t help thinking they’re really just pulling us apart.
If we think photos people claim to be “candid” are more important than those physically in front of us, we need to just stop for a second, and think.
Although that may be hard for a lot of people nowadays, since our attention span has probably severely declined because of all these Apps that make you read maximum 140-character posts, or watch 6-second videos. I don’t want to be a hypocrite, I use social media, yes, but I only do that to pass time – it has never been a priority to me. I don’t know if anyone else’s parents did this, but my parents would always tell me ever since I got a phone, “don’t use it at the table”. I never complained about that rule, because it simply made sense to me. In fact, I even employ that rule myself when I’m with my friends. When people use their phones at the table, unless it’s an emergency, I feel so offended, because it seems as though they’d rather pass time by than actually talk to me.
I end up sitting there, eating, in silence – what is the difference between eating with someone with their eyes glued to the screen of their phones and eating alone? Is a skyline photo really more interesting than me? Is a Facebook rant really more important than me? Likes are basically a popularity contest – I know some people who have said, “I don’t actually like their photo, but they’re my friend so…” This is why people tend to base their self-worth on number of likes and number of comments. Stop. They are merely numbers on a screen – someone literally just tapped their screen twice. Is that all it takes to make young people today happy? Tapping the screen twice?
Life isn’t about the number of likes you get on a photo that you chose out of 30 other photos that you told your friend to take only for you to caption it ‘#candid’. It’s not about what filters are the most flattering. It’s about dealing what’s in front of you, actual people! Talk to them, learn more about them – you’d be surprised as to what stories people have to tell.
Stop placing value on meaningless things.
Don’t get me wrong, by all means, use social media, post photos you like, post photos of you with friends, make clever, punny captions. Just don’t take people in front of your for granted, because once you actually do look up from your eye-damaging screens, you might see just an empty chair.