Why social media sites will be the end of me.

March 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

1. There’s information, and then there’s TOO MUCH information. Ever get the feeling that you know something about a person that really wouldn’t have bettered your life in any way, shape or form, if you didn’t? New babies are cute. Being able to gush over your best friend’s new summer haircut is nice. Browsing through pictures of a classmate’s holiday in Africa is interesting. Watching your friends graduate from college, get jobs, and grow to be adults is educational. On the other hand…hearing friends complain about said jobs while you are struggling to find one of your own, being inundated by five-times-daily posts about how perfect and how in love a former group mate is with her flavour-of-the-month, seeing that quiet girl in 4th grade’s tongue in another person’s mouth – NOT COOL. At all.

2. They take up a lot of time and you don’t even know it! Raise your hand, who here has ever found themselves panicking at the end of two hours, after supposedly taking a 10 minute break from writing a paper/lab report/essay/lit review/insert-other-supposedly-official-and-therefore-important-thing-here? Seems like this is a more common problem than it seems since, from experience, an alarming number of friends disappear from cyberworld come exam time. My cousin, on a regular basis, asks her boyfriend to change her password just so she can’t access facebook when she’s supposed to be working towards a deadline of some sort. Of course this works every single time since there are absolutely no other sites out there like pinterest and tumblr to keep one busy. Problem solved.

3. Apart from taking up a lot of life, constantly browsing through pinterest/tumblr/wordpress/youtube/etc. takes up a lot of my data allowance. I’m pretty sure this isn’t such a common problem as most people actually DO have a decent data allowance, or live in a country where the whole concept of limited GBs doesn’t make sense!

4. It fills me with so much WANT – for places that I will never see, for food I will never learn how to cook, for clothes that will never look good on me, for experiences that I will never have. I have a sneaking suspicion some absolutely devious marketing people are all behind this. Granted, I don’t actually know the statistics behind how many people actually DO book tickets for a tropical holiday to get away from winter after spending an hour looking at all those beach photos on tumblr. But still. I’m pretty sure that if I could afford it, I probably would be one of those absolutely free spirits who click the ‘Book Now!’ button after 15 minutes on tumblr. That, or get a cliched tattoo that says ‘breathe’ or ‘love’ or some East Asian characters that says all that plus inner peace. In no particular order, after fifteen minutes browsing, I want to: learn how to surf, live in another country, take good photographs, learn Portuguese, go to South America, see Santorini, bike through quaint little French villages, make a kick-ass cake that would make my momma proud, and rock leather leggings like there’s no tomorrow. Which brings me to my next point…

Absolutely typical tumblr.

5. They engender unrealistic expectations – of oneself, of one’s partner/family, of one’s life, of one’s photography skills, even. How many times (in reality) have those motivational quotes in handwritten font, on out-of-focus pastel photos that tell you to ‘Throw caution to the wind…and Live, dammit!!!’ actually gotten your ass out of bed to DO something? I find it ironic and absolutely sad that the same people who keep reblogging this crap are the same people who sit in front of their computers, trying to live vicariously through the travel/bucketlist photos of other people. Or….maybe I’m the only one who does that. Every other beach photo and skydiving shot tells me that this is the way I should be living my life – to its heaping fullest, savouring every exciting on-the-edge moment, as if sitting in a library trying to finish writing a research proposal isn’t as valid an activity, meriting some time of your my life. On the other hand…

6. It does show you how big and vast the world is. Looking past the envy all the traveling posts and the sunny photos bring up, it’s almost a real way to learn about how differently the other half of the world lives. Or, more specifically, how people like you fare, trying to survive the other half of the world. There are hundreds of blogs out there about stumbling, bumbling travellers and their misadventures that would serve as entertainment to no end. It’s almost kinda like uni all over again – learning about different folks and their different strokes, except from the comfort of your study, with the safety of a glass screen between you, that you COULD overcome more easily, if you chose (by clicking on the Comment button as opposed to starting a conversation with a complete stranger on the bus who could be an axe murderer or something).

In summary…..browsing through these sites makes me run out of time and data allowance, inflames my wanderlust, makes me want to ‘Carpe Diem’ the hell out of whichever official business I’m supposed to be doing, and fills me with worry that I’m not utilising my youth like I ought to. And yet, I continue to click on.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with this problem…..Or am I?

Click click clicketty click.

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