Are We Only the Sum of Our Status Updates?
I read this on a friend’s newsfeed through my Google+ account:
“It’s funny. We have Facebook, Twitter, and now Google +, and instead of getting closer, I just feel more distance.”
How profound. I mean – I’ve felt this myself and the concept itself isn’t strange, but when said that way it struck me hard.
I’m an 80s-90s generation kid. Some of us still had rotary telephones and black-and-white televisions. Not all of us had cable. Our generation saw the microwave oven get introduced in homes. Not all of us had video game systems. By the time we were nine years old we started seeing personal computers in homes and in schools.
Remember all that 21st Century Classroom hype, guys?
But amidst playing Oregon Trail and, later, playing Solitaire and Minesweeper on the computers, we still greatly craved in-person contact. We still begged to go to our friends houses (escape our own) and talked on the phone to our friends plenty.
These days I’m ashamed to say “I hate talking on the phone” but it’s true. Most everyone I talk to these days would rather email, text, or type a quick message on Facebook rather than call someone on the phone or – gasp! – go visit someone.
The more we tune in, the more we tune out. Is this because we’re now inundated? Have we overwhelmed ourselves?
I know that I’m elated to now be in touch with every person I ever went to elementary and high school with. I’m overjoyed that I have ways to get back in touch with those I’ve lost touch over the years. It’s fantastic. It’s good for the soul. . .
But is it?
Is it truly a good thing when, because I have over 250 people on my “friends” list, that I can’t keep a close relationship with just three or four anymore? I can keep up with everyone’s status – but I can’t keep up with THEM. There’s no way. There are simply not enough hours in the day.
I think that, as technology plows along, that we’re actually getting farther away from our goals. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but it may have been easier to run calculations with a pencil and piece of paper than it is to have the computer automatically add the figures and then crash so that all our hard-earned data is lost. Social media networks are supposed to make it easier to stay in touch, but they’ve made it easier to be out-of-touch with a person’s self.
Is this what we’re destined for?
Are we only the sum of our status updates?