Saturday, March 15, 2014

Social Media for Anti-Socials

It bothers me that society has basically become such that we aren't people, but personas. The real you is not the cyber you at all. We don't put all our information (most of us that is) online. I fear intimacy, but have learnt to start opening up and being "me." I've been a pseudo version of me for a long time.  I always felt if people really knew me they would reject me for being imperfect. I used to thing the Internet was great because I'd have  chats with friends online and we could share, laugh, create groups based on common interests etc. Many of the groups or chat rooms I enjoyed centered around relationships or makeup. It's strange because I remember when things started advancing online. MySpace was losing it's appeal, no more AIM a/s/l, and chat rooms? I really believe I have social anxiety because I stopped having person to person conversations. When I wasn't online, I was reading, studying, working or at university. Now that I'm a "grown up" I am horrified! A co-worker asked me to tea, and I reluctantly accepted. I laughed to him about the fact we didn't make eye contact as we were both fiddling with our phones. I was drooling over some woman on Instagram, he was texting his girlfriend, and we had a nonverbal agreement that it was okay to wrap it up before proceeding to the cafe. I found myself depressed for lack of a better word. I kept recalling the woman I was admiring and could not help but mentally critique myself compared to her. Of course, she must be perfect, she has almost a million people following her and professing their admiration, desire, and "you're my role model," comments. It's all about image~>numbers~>online presence=value. What's more, everyone looks the same. In the beauty community, the brows, clothes, and poses are all the same. To add to that, now there is an element of cosmetic alterations that have young adults looking like they belong on an episode of  "Real Housewives of (your city here)." They can't think that their trout pout looks natural? Do people realise that once you get breast implants, you are putting a foreign matter in your body which must be maintained as long as they are stored in the body? Such a slippery slope to fuss with so early in life. I digress.
So what's an anti social person to do? You have two choices. You either embrace the change and keep up with the Jones' or you accept that you will never be a cyber celeb, and that there will be times that will make you feel inadequate. I see these teens earning more than my local congressman who haven't a talent but along with the income, they have certain perks thrown to them for being a cyber celebrity. Let not your heart be troubled, all good things come to an end and we will be doing a "Where are they now?" a la Chris Crocker in no time. Sure, there may be another form of social media that will saturate and become the FaceBook of the decade, but think of the stress you don't have to endure by trying to keep your numbers up. You don't have to comment, rate, subscribe, edit, vlog, post, etc. anything if you don't want. I still have a land line, even though I can count the people who use it. I am better without social media. I like to sit across from someone and talk without worrying that I need to @ reply, take a pic of my food or drink, and my job isn't to be perfect. In fact, the less people know about me the better. It's okay to like one's own company. Imagine how empty life is for people whose only extension to society is via their electronic device. Think of what it must be like to rely on other people's actions to support your lifestyle. Imagine what it will be like for a vlogger to one day have to apply for a job, interview and work among real people...