What is real?
This is a mildly existential opinion piece, but I will ease you into it.
Most of us grew up with the Internet. We remember the dial up tone, and only being allowed to use it during certain hours because of its exclusivity. We got our first phones that we could use for texting and calling, and if we were tech-savvy enough, we could create or own ringtones (mine was Toxic by Britney Spears, recorded straight from my own stereo). On occasion, I would accidently hit the Internet button, but furiously press escape, because internet on a cell-phone was a luxury that was not of my time, or so I thought.
Somewhere in the mix MySpace comes about, which was when we stopped caring about what our own room looked like and more about what song should play when someone opened our page. It had to be catchy yet elegant with a hint of cool and a tone of welcome, yes, all in one song. Fast forward a few years and our phones are now glued to our hands. I certainly don’t go anywhere without my iPhone, and neither do you so quit judging. I check my Instagram and Snapchat, because lets face it Facebook is over. If your grandmother has it, you don’t need it. Checking social media is like a reflex and when I’m feeling sophisticated I check my twitter, where I happen to follow CNN and Fox News in order to balance my bias. I have noticed that every time I start my homework I check my social media just because, and when I have figured out the outline for my 12 page paper that is due in 2 days I check these apps again. Notice that I check my social media every time I’m about to do something productive, never when I’m done doing something productive. Maybe I’m all about procrastinating, or it’s a disease. Maybe it’s both.
I started doing this thing where I delete all my social media apps because C’s may get degrees but procrastinating certainly does not. Now when I’m about to start homework I find myself blankly staring at my phone. A lot. With social media gone, my phone now has very little value to me because it does not do anything for me anymore. I must admit that I have fallen off the wagon and downloaded these apps again, only to find myself on Instagram-surfing all the way to my freshman roommate’s sister in-laws mother’s account; who is very happy about the arrival of her first grandchild. Anyways, as I delete and re-download these apps, there is feeling of excitement in removing your existence in a world that doesn’t exist. It’s all just air! It is nothing! Nada!
We all like the validation the “likes” get us, and they probably hurt your pride less than walking around fishing for compliments. But again it is not real. I’m not telling you to do anything, because you are probably on your phone reading this right now, which in turn validates my existence so thanks. I just think that we should we be on our phones less, because real life is interesting too, and it is not solely the filter you put on it that matters. I mean the nominees for this election has been described to me as choosing between “full blown aids and ebola.” And if I were you, I’d be looking at what’s happening with the election rather than my phone, because that ought to be a circus as well. What could possibly be more real than a circus? Not much.