I thought of something interesting to write about earlier and now have no recollection of what it was. As usual I always revert back to the internet rants, soon as I get this out of my system the better, maybe.
How many times do you go on Facebook and end up in the depths of a meme page or 10000 lists, quizzes or articles on subject such as 25 Famous celebrities who have shocking real names or Which Disney character best sums up your personality? Until recently no one cared about this crap, even if they did they would find other ways of getting it, and how many of those articles do we actually remember after reading them and putting up with the 10 000 ads popping waiting for us to accidentally click them. Not many, if any.
Any form of printed media is also now becoming far less popular, just sitting on the train to and from work every day it’s kind of scary how many people are face down in phones. You see the occasional person reading a book but most of them have been converted to kindles. Yes it’s a good thing that people are still reading, but a majority of them aren’t reading anything worthwhile, just trapped in consuming whatever crap someone else has liked in their various news feeds or lurking other people’s profiles, I am also quilty of this. I sometimes like to crane my head around to see what other people are looking at, and I can tell you a lot of it isn’t very interesting and it makes you wonder what these people would be doing if phones didn’t exist, conversing perhaps?
Dolly magazine shutting down after all these years is pretty sad however not totally surprising with the takeover of the online information market. The internet has gotten people used to having instant gratification, therefore making us too impatient to wait for a monthly product when we could just google or look up the magazine’s website and find what we want. Being part of the internet generation, myself and most people I know could definitely identify with that. If we can’t find something out instantly then we are left feeling unsatisfied and before we know it we are looking at something else like a dumb cat video or memes. There is simply too much going on all the time online which creates impatience waiting for information, and before you know it your train of thought has changed. Or you research something and find way too much information about it on google that you don’t know where to start or what to believe.
Jim Morrison once said that cinemagoers were silent vampires, and these days I think the same can be applied to avid social media users, the people who religiously check-up and stalk others profiles without posting anything themselves. The voyeurism goes to a whole different level and is much more real given the people they’re watching through their phones are now people they know. Unlike cinema which is often a fictional story, this is people’s real life portrayed by social media, and so many people take internet content at face value and believe everything they see. It has the power to make people feel inadequate or jealous that they don’t have someone else’s life or looks, however when lurking profiles we often fail to realise this representation is hardly accurate. Naturally people will tend to exaggerate and boast about their own existence, and with Facebook and Instagram it’s now easier than ever and we cannot escape it or even see through it.
Until recently I was convinced no one really communicated or lived in the real world anymore (living alone and lurking the internet will do that to you). I was pretty shocked to find there are still people out there who place face to face interactions above anything virtual and are still with life, however I also noticed those people are not the youth/teenagers of today. Said youth’s have grown up with the internet and constant easy access of having it on smart phones.
I shudder to think what damage having Facebook would have done to friendships when I was in primary school. Even back in 2007 when I began High School, having the internet on your phone was an expensive luxury your parents didn’t see the point of, therefore no one had it. As mobile phones changed a couple of years later I got a Sony flip phone capable of web browsing. Data was still ridiculously expensive so I only used it to download cool themes and pictures.
The only internet free time me and my friends really got was after school sitting at a desktop computer on Msn messenger or MySpace, if we were out of the house socialising with friends or family you weren’t connected at all and were fully able to participate in activities in the moment. It wasn’t until about Year 10 when the first iphone came out or people started to get better internet plans on their various branded slide/flip phones that internet started becoming popular and kids could use social media constantly throughout the day. The next thing we knew cyber-bullying became a major issue our school had no idea how to deal with. They blocked Facebook and Myspace from the computers about a year after they caught on to everyone being on it during class time, however with the rise of phone internet it didn’t really make a difference. Since then social media and cyber bullying has grown into an unkillable monster and who knows how it is going to change and influence the future.
Everyone thought the internet would be great to bring people together and keep us all connected, and with the ability to message and tag people who live in other parts of the world it is very useful as a communication tool. Tasks such as booking travel accommodation or conducting research for studying were rather tedious before the internet. However it’s benefit in our lives becomes questionable when advertising companies and websites full of illiterate articles clog up the timeline with useless crap that you can click on and read some badly written article on how to lose weight with these three steps, or 15 facts you never knew about the Kardashians etc. You get sucked into reading pointless articles which are a total waste of time and internet data, next thing you know you’ve wasted 15 minutes of your real life focusing on that and being distracted from actually living. I always make a point of hiding anything Kardashian related that comes up in a bid to stop Facebook showing it to me, exposure to that family is definitely something we could all do with less of.
I find it rather scary that Facebook tailors the news feed according to your interests and the things you look up, and if you hide something it sends itself a signal not to show you that thing. Whereas if you like something it will suddenly start showing you more things related to that. It knows more about our interests than we consciously do therefore hooking us in further and making the news feed harder to stop scrolling through. I wonder what would happen if we saw more stuff we weren’t interested in and had no choice not to see it, maybe we would waste less time lurking the news feed?
The real world is where we actually learn and experience life and I worry that the younger generations waste so much time in the online world that they are slowly losing the ability to function and communicate in the real world. It could be an explanation for the growing rate of teenagers suffering from anxiety, you see so many memes based around social anxiety and feeling like crap about their life and existence. Ironically we are so much more disconnected from each other, despite being super connected online.
Late teenagers/young adults have no concept of changing how they react to what they see online, youth making them naïve and impressionable to things posted by their friends or people they admire. They do not possess enough life experience to take things they read/see at face value without comparing themselves to it. Sometimes even subconsciously they read and see pictures or snapchats about other people’s activities and feel jealous and disheartened by it. Not everything that happens in life is on the internet, but I find a lot of the younger generations, especially my sisters year group born in 1997 onwards tend to place more importance on posting about doing something on the internet than actually experiencing it and being in the moment.
Young people are being lead to grow up with a warped sense of reality and will perhaps miss out on experiences in the real world because they are too busy disconnecting and reading about other people through their phone with have no concept of real life experiences or going out of their comfort zone. It also makes me feel uneasy every time I see a toddler with an ipad and games for entertainment instead of old fashioned toys and colouring in. How on earth are they ever going to develop an imagination if everything is already there for them. Making your own entertainment is an important part of life for otherwise these kids will be perpetually bored forever.
I am now utterly bored of this rant.