I recently read that while many adults will share anecdotes across the table this Festive period, many kids will be doing the same, but over social media.
I guess it’s an interesting way to look at how communication is changing, instead of just communicating with the close family and friends around you, the younger generation are communicating with the rest of the world.
This Christmas I’m sure you saw multitudes of people posting pictures of their presents, their Christmas dinners and their dogs in cute Christmas outfits on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and i’m sure with some people you saw so much of their Christmas that you felt like you were basically there. And isn’t that a weird concept, the fact that through sharing so much of your life on social media, other people feel like they participated in what you were doing.
Through sharing snapshots of your day online, you are creating a real time narrative of your life for people to see, and really isn’t this what social media is about: sharing?
Well yes, that’s true, social media is for sharing, that’s what it was designed for, to keep in touch with other people and what they’re doing in their lives. But has it gone too far? Do we really need to see that you had 8 pigs in blankets with your Christmas dinner, or that your Grandad fell asleep watching the Queens speech and your Nan was absolutely bloody furious with him?
Granted, that’s quite funny, but is it necessary?
No, probably not.
We can get so wrapped up in our phones and in other peoples lives online, that sometimes it can feel that we aren’t really participating in our own lives. I know it’s annoying when your mum’s constantly badgering you to put your phone down and play Simpsons Cluedo with the family on boxing day, when really all you want to do is watch a video of your friend from Uni downing Prosecco with her Nan on Snapchat, but your mum’s right, you really should join in and participate with your family instead. Would you rather have funny stories of your own to tell your friends when you see them, or would you prefer to talk about the funny Snapchat stories you watched of someone else?
A large part of conversing with people is telling stories and listening to other peoples stories, and social media can be a great place to do that. Sometimes.
Yes, it means you can tell your stories to as many people as you like, whenever you like, which is great, as Marshall McLuhan said, we are now a ‘Global Village‘. Communication across oceans and seas is now seemingly easy as anything, so if you have family or friends in Australia this New Year, you can see how they’re celebrating and where, and its nice to feel as if you are still connected, even though you are thousands of miles away.
However this constant need to be in touch with everyone at every hour of the day is taking over our lives!!!
These little details of our days are great stories to tell, when there is a time to tell them. Instead of having to tell people what is happening the minute it happens, spend some time actually enjoying whats going on instead!
The story telling can wait, and as cliche as it sounds, these moments wont.
So when you’re celebrating bringing in the New Year this year, take a moment to put down your phone, fight the urge to Snapchat your friend throwing up in to a bush as the new year comes in, and just laugh about it instead.
Happy New Year!