In our day and age, everyone seems to have an opinion to share. With pictures, videos and thoughts — either important or inane — being shared 24/7, everything is open to criticism.
Being judged has become a normal occurrence on social media, and now everyone has to be vigilant. You have to be vigilant of what you say, think and feel, for any small reaction can be taken and blown out of proportion. Once your thoughts or memories are online it seems to be free game for discussion and ridicule from friends, followers and strangers. Nothing, no matter if your profile is set to private, is truly private.
What does privacy even mean anymore? Personally, I’m a pretty private person, and I don’t have much experience with social media. I don’t have a Facebook, my Twitter is used to follow my favorite authors, and my Instagram exists simply so I can see my friend’s photos while they are abroad. Even with my limited perspective of the pressure that is social media, I still know that privacy is often not respected.
I can’t take a weird picture with a group of friends without having to tell someone not to post it on Facebook or Instagram — sitting next to someone can warrant the risk of becoming an unwilling subject on Snapchat. People just don’t think about privacy.
Social media is an amazing resource, don’t get me wrong. As of January 2014, according to istrategylabs.com, there are 42 million teens aged between 18-24 using Facebook. And it’s not just young people that are using social media. It has connected people of all ages on different continents all across the world.
However, with the wide majority of the populace always plugged in online, living in the real world is often deferred. I can’t live in the moment or do something spontaneous without it being captured for all of my friends’ followers to see. Going to a concert or event becomes fully publicized. Sometimes, I can barely see the performer I paid to see over people in front of me waving their iPhones and iPads in the air, trying to get the perfect picture or video. Most of these attendees won’t even remember what it felt like to see their favorite artist live.
I’m not saying to never tweet or post on Facebook but maybe share the imperative occasions. I’m sure that Starbucks drink is amazing and the Malibu sunset is breathtaking and we are all so blessed but, again?
Not being so involved in the social media craze gives me a different perspective on privacy. Not having a Facebook allows me to do what I want without having to post it. I’m able to live in the moment without worrying about what people might think of it.
Just for one day, I challenge you to live in the moment instead of thinking about the likes you’ll get after you post a picture of you “being” in the moment. Sip your Starbucks latte and watch the sunset with friends. Laugh and live without worrying about what others think or are going to comment. Plug into the real world and unplug from the online one.
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