I don’t know if this is just me, but I find myself thinking about social media and technology a lot. And not in the sense that I check Facebook or email constantly, but just wondering what its doing to my generation in general. Now don’t get me wrong, I love texting as much as the next 21 year-old girl and I don’t know what I would do without Google. But a couple of incidents recently have bothered me.
A few weeks back I noticed something unusual on my way to class. Now I go to a large state school and was taking a bus (and at the stop) with what felt like 50 students. And I was literally the only person who did not have headphones on. (I personally don’t wear them too often. Perhaps if I’m sharing a room with someone and don’t wish to disturb them, but not on busses or in waiting rooms.)
But this suddenly bothered me. Everyone seemed so hostile and unapproachable. I mean it seems that half the time I’m asking another pedestrian for directions they have to first remove their headphones before asking me to repeat myself. This also kind of rules out striking up a polite conversation with a stranger. I mean what if your future spouse walks by or a potential best friend? It seems you’re going to miss out because you’re too busy listening to music and checking your Twitter.
This brings me to the second incident. Over the summer (a while ago I know, but its stuck with me) I was at a small gathering for a friend’s birthday; maybe 10 or so people were there. Once everyone arrived we of course had to clink our red Solo cups (not really clink then I guess) while cheering and simultaneously taking a photo.
A few moments later, there was complete and utter silence. When I look up, everyone is tweeting, facebooking, instagramming (and god knows what else) this photo. To me it seems like they all stopped living for a moment. I mean we get so caught up in meticulously documenting our lives that we’re missing it. I suppose it would be great to have pictures of a great night out (mind you, just a few) but won’t the actual memory stay with me?
So now I turn to you, whoever reads this. What do you think?