Okay, so right out of the gate I know I’m probably the outcast here.
But yeah, that’s right. I’m a social media advocate in this age of “deleting Facebook from my phone for 2017.”
I don’t get it.
Actually, let me back up. I’ve totally gone through one of those phases where I was unsure if the social media pagan gods were poisoning me, entangling my little mind in the snares of hashtags, scrolling, and liking. And I’ve even given up social media before. Deleting apps from the trusty iPhone and deactivating accounts so that I wouldn’t relapse in my moments of late night weakness.
And sure, when I unlocked my phone I’d mechanically try to open Twitter and Snapchat and Instagram and Facebook. So I guess it’s not wholly out of the question to say there’s an addictive element to it in the sense that if you do something repeatedly it becomes habit.
But there’s this viral video going around, where this guy talks about social media like it’s heroine. And I can’t help the feeling that society has sort of embraced this idea that we need to dial back social media.
Here’s the thing though, whenever I Brexited social media the only thing I really felt was disconnected. And I don’t mean like when Neo chose the red pill and saw the human crop fields for the first time.
By disconnected, I really mean that I felt weeks behind the curve of now. One of the things I take pride in is the people I follow on social media – and not necessarily because they’re my friends.
I imagine everyone gets an experience similar to mine, but it’s sort of surprising how up-to-date a timeline can keep you just because of the random things friends are posting. Sure, you’ll have the twerk videos, “Happy Birthday’s” and miscellaneous statuses where your friends are saying something like, “I’ll never fly Virgin Airlines. Why would I fly with an airline that doesn’t go all the way!”
Yet, there’s also a lot of social banter and general current event information sprinkled on top of the lives of those you follow.
For real, I’ve been looking for a reason to use the #saltbae gif ever since it kicked off 2017’s trending memes.
Anyway, I’m not saying that you should dedicate whole-heartedly to getting your news from social media. There definitely should be some substantiated medium where you go to verify things. Cause you know, there are definitely people posting about how Donald Trump is the second coming.
But staying in the loop isn’t the same thing as fact checking. Lest we forget.
To make an even stronger point though, there’s social utility in social media – in my opinion.
Recently, I was walking around Atlanta, Georgia with some friends and we came across this random Facebook trailer that was set up in Centennial Park. I swear it was a legit operation. Facebook’s not dealing meth or anything.
They were demonstrating Virtual Reality systems and basically brought you in, put a headset and stuff on you and played this intense trailer that took you into space, exotic villages, serene oceans and to other dope spots that I probably couldn’t pronounce the name of.
At some point Lebron James dunked on me.
It was pretty intense shit.
And it was just sort of demonstrating this technology that Facebook is apparently researching so that they could give a survey at the end and ask everyone who went through the VR trailer if they thought this was something that the company should be putting money toward developing.
My answer was a resounding hell yes.
Just in their little demonstration, I could totally see some practical uses of social media pioneering VR technology, which is in it’s gimmicky phase so far.
And I think that’s the point I’m trying to make, if I could just shut the hell up and cut to the chase. We’re in the middle of social media’s technological capabilities and discoveries and breakthroughs and innovations are pretty much happening every instant at this point.
If I can sound like an old fart for a second, I remember when social media was Aim and Yahoo Messenger. And as cool as that was; I ain’t going back.
I totally get the argument that people need to put their phones down, but that’s more or less discipline and self control. Sure, stop capturing shitty sound bites of the concerts you went to on Snapchat and just live it up for a second.
But just cutting social media cold turkey?
I don’t know. To me it just seems like resisting the tide of change.