Yes, my generation has problems. Some describe us as self-centered and uninterested with the real world that envelops us. The older generations are constantly saying that our virtual reality takes precedent over our current situation.
“Millennials are selfish consumers of social media.” -Justin Lafazan
Mr Lafazan isn’t wrong. I see his point. I hear it and acknowledge it. Today I saw this. My apologizes for the bad image quality, but as I walked out of Composition class I couldn’t resist snapping a photograph of the sadness that loomed in that hallway. I will not apologize for being melodramatic in this observation. It was a sad sight. There are over 15 people in that hallway and not one is talking.
I am willing to bet that 75% of them aren’t actually texting someone. The reason I defer to this assumption is because I am just as guilty doing this. We all know how this happens. You arrive early to a class, meeting or new area and you don’t know people. Our natural reaction is to whip out our Extra Limb (cell phone) and scroll mindlessly through any social media account we behold. So the next few people arrive, and they see the first person sitting on their phone so they proceed to the same action.
I walked by all of these people, and I turned around to capture it but I really wanted to scream at all of them. It angers me because I have been in this situation a million times and I had the same reaction, I pulled out my phone.
Before you stop reading, I am not here to criticize social media, technology or our generation. Like I said, I know we have problems. The technological advances will not cease to exist anytime soon nor will social media go away. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do about it so I did the only thing I know, to write and make others aware.
The crazy part is there are 15 unique individuals in that hallway. Not one is the same. They do not have the same dreams, aspirations or struggles. They do not look the same, have the same stories or love the same things I do. Yes, Cameron way to state the obvious.
In all seriousness, I have come to the conclusion that we are all intrinsically focused on pleasing a fraction of people through a virtual image of ourselves. Those people were surrounded by 14 other different individuals yet they looked to their phones. I might have 500 followers on Twitter and 400 on Instagram. Three people might read this blog post. We constantly scroll through the thoughts and feelings of people we are acquainted with. But it is one thing to know about someone and another to know someone.
All of those people on our own feeds and sites are mostly acquaintances that we know of. We should jump at the opportunity to meet someone new and actually get to know them.
There were 15 people in that hallway and none of them were talking. What if the next time you’re in a room full of people you don’t know, you speak. Instead of glancing at the media posts of people you barely know on a screen, we might engage in a stimulating conversation. I don’t think I’m shooting for the stars here.
We need actual conversation, not virtual conversation.