Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LOOK AT ME! As I'm Antisocially Networked

Who have we become in this digital age? Instead of getting caught up in the rapture of love we have been caught up in the rapture of the matrix. The internet is statistically now the first place people look for dating partners and friends. The internet no longer hides behind a massive computer screen, it's become who we are. It's all around us, it comes to work with us and for some of us, IT IS WORK. It is our entire social life and instead of scrap books, why not put everything on Facebook?! Facebook brings the WORST out of most people and usually it's in the form of narcissism. Facebook, among other social SELF GLORIFICATION sites, has provided people with an accepted God Complex. Yes, it's true, everyone wants to feel special, everyone wants to be heard...and with social networking and the ability to broadcast oneself GLOBALLY with instant feedback from strangers, people now feel like celebrities basking in the glory of groupies. "Yes, "LIKE" my photo, look at me, I'm shirtless! Don't you love my muscles and how the baby oil makes the light hit the creases of my six pack? Share my photo, Retweet my genius. Read my Tweet, aren't I funny?! I may be a Secretary but man, I can really come up with a witty tweet." We want the audience, we want the praise and we want the illusion that people like us. "WOW! I'm famous! My video reached a thousand views! My life is complete!" Lets face it, we could use the ego reinforcement; back in grade school, we were staring out of the window in the school bus, way in the back, afraid to talk to the person next to us because we stuttered. (At least I did) Some of us were even afraid to go to school period. Because at 11:25, we would be bullied, called a faggot or may be a few ignorant boys would chant, "BEEP-BEEP! WIDE LOAD" behind us as we lumbered down the hall, we were a bit over weight and now we look a lot better, skinnier and of course we have 2,000 photos to prove it. Unfortunately for your kid, the modern grade school bully can continue that bullying after school, and do it anonymously online. Hence the increasing suicide rates of teenagers, especially among gays. But I won't go there, this isn't meant to be a dark, gritty post intended to conjure up tears of sympathy or even guilt, I just wonder if this new second reality called the internet is steering humanity in the right direction. I love social networking, I'm online everyday, so I am not preaching or judging, But what gets under my skin, is the arrogance of cyber space. The "LOOK AT ME" mentality of the profiles that lack personality. Stop telling "commercially attractive" people that they are the best thing since Marilyn and Joe. Commercially attractive, what's that you say? They look like the people you see on THE YOUNG THE RESTLESS, Abercrombie and Fitch posters or the people who get in free and fast at trendy Miami night clubs. (If you've clubbed in Miami, you know what I'm talking about) They tend to be arrogant. You wonder why they're arrogant? Well you keep "Liking" their photos, trolling their Facebook pages, leaving them DM's on Twitter. Certain people have heard ENOUGH compliments so leave them to their mirrors and exalt THINKERS. You know the thinkers, the ones with the philosophical statuses and the blogs about what the internet is doing to society. (See, I'm self glorifying, just as guilty) However, Self glorification through a bombardment of SHIRTLESS or bikini in bathroom mirror photos is rather pathetic considering Facebook isn't a modeling agency and there are no paychecks coming your way. The groupies that comment like drooling, panting dogs in heat will post similar photos the next day to compete. Self absorbed is the new promotional strategy for anyone with a web browser these days. It's only getting worse, but the thing is, we aren't self absorbed, we just want people to give us a reason to start. Because as of now, we are insecure. Oh no, it's been two hours and I haven't posted a status, someone else is going to be WITTY on Twitter, someone else will have a longer thread response on Facebook. I HAVE TO BE FACEBOOK KING! I HAVE TO BE TWITTER QUEEN! But you're never crowned, because the fact is, no one cares about you. They may LIKE a photo, comment a status, answer a Direct Message or Follow you, but they did the same thing to 5,000 other people. And tomorrow, that number will triple. We are over 30 and have regressed back to high school, desperately trying to be popular... **IRRESPONSIBLY!**Everyone has to know what color underwear we are wearing today, what supermarket overcharged us for an apple and what boyfriend is about to make you change your relationship status. As the 90s/post 2000 baby generation matures in a world where all they know is computer lingo, reading books will be even less desirable. Instead of reading books, we read statuses or MEDIATAKEOUT.COM. Oprah is off the air and so is her book club. But what about friendship? Does that mean anything anymore? NO. Socially, we will be lost. Especially if we can define a friend as someone who shows their appreciation with a few mouse clicks. Is society headed for social disaster? With the public determining what news is with all the eye reporters, news feeds instead of news organizations, Kim Kardashian ass analysis rather than poverty analysis, what becomes worthy of news? If a nuclear bomb is made and everyone's on Twitter, will anyone hear it? NO. Who are you? That's the question. Are you an infinity of statuses? A collage of twit pics? Is your worth measured in LIKES? Let's face it, we are all addicted to social networking, addicted to the thrill of finally feeling popular, but look around you, there's no one there. Just you and your phone, all alone. I think it's time we get offline, smell the roses and stare into each others eyes; pupils, cornea and all! The world is so much bigger than a Craigslist personals section. If you want everyone to FOLLOW you, you better know where you are headed. There's no point in following the lost and there's no point in being a leader if you have nothing to say. There are a few souls left in the world, there's a couple of them online as well; the rest are being swallowed up by the matrix, several thousand a day, posting away, giving their identity away. Look, it makes sense, the internet is LIBERATING, we can be anyone we want to be, anonymous here, glorified there, but many of us seem to be having an identity crisis. Which personality is really you? The offline or the online? Which website best represents you? The Book or the Tube? Remember that thing called the Telephone? You've seen the Gaga video. Well originally, it was a device invented for people to have conversations on, they spoke in complete sentences and would talk to each other fairly often. What you have in your hand is a Cell Phone, I know you don't talk on it, why would you? When you can text, comment, LIKE, poke and tweet? How could you ever feel lonely? How could you ever feel like no one is listening when you have 2,000 friends? Oh that's right, your phone isn't ringing and neither is your door bell. It's ok, just pretend that you are popular, keep as many websites and apps as possible, because eventually, you'll be numb and it won't even feel like you are alone. With all the updates, you won't even realize there's a war outside of your window. No not the Twitter war silly, the nuclear bomb that just went off across the ocean. You missed it because Kanye was tweeting about his new watch. A few people died but they didn't matter, they weren't on Twitter and they tried to warn you about the alien spaceship above your capital building, but you didn't hear them either because they didn't say it on Twitter. No, if something isn't said on Twitter, it's not important. I know it's the digital age and many of you have the attention span of Bart Simpson so I'll get to my conclusion now. I'll end with a challenge: Use your internet wits in real life. Try to impress people in public, throw a party, invite a few Facebook friends and Followers if you dare, be as witty, charming and profound as you might be online. Instead of telling people to add you on Facebook, tell them to come to your next party, and at the next party, invite them on your group trip to the mountains, if they are still around for the mountains, you may have actually found REAL FRIENDS. Then give them your phone number and BEHOLD the beauty of a phone conversation! WARNING: The person will not interrupt you to tell you that they LIKE what you just said, continue talking.

1 comment:

  1. A really interesting and honest observation Isayaah....heck! I can say am as guilty as sin when it comes to issue self glorification via these social mediums. However, I can honestly say that I saw the "Light" which you currently shed way before now (about 4 months ago)...I never had revealing pictures or sexually graphic images on my profile,...But I had loads of my contacts on my fb page who did,..n I did occassionally took sneak peeks at them. In the same vein ,I had pple leave complimentary remarks and comments on my pictures (some which i liked, while some I found unnecessary)..but yes, they mostly made me feel good. But the truth dawned,..are these pple really friends?? they know me beyond who they see and my posts which they read??....the answer was NO!. So I embarked on a cleansing project,..out with the strangers who continued to remain strange rather than friendly, out with the freaks who always sent PM's requesting for nude pictures and private hook ups, out with the "virtual" celebs who seek to perpetuate their online fame by making me a part of the statistics of their online followership, out with the contacts who reveled in negativity and enjoyed promoting online battles, out with those who couldn't decipher between "being real" and lacking "Self control" and decorum. The beauty of this was that I was able for the first time in a long to see those who really mattered and those who just didn't! I can say that I have made some great friends (some whom I have met)and garnered a new found appreciation insightful and interesting conversations.... However, I am still mindful being perpetually sucked into the online tube, it sometimes makes me a totally different person (a bold online entity) than I am in reality (a shy introverted dude). My ultimate goal is to reclaim my life back from the tangled online social web it is caught in and make my truest and best experiences/memories the one I make beyond the confines of a monitor and keyboard......SHMG (So Help Me God)