Likes, followers, shares, snaps and retweets.
All relevant words in our vocabulary these days. But for some, quite the obsession.
A world of attention; right at our fingertips; literally and figuratively.
More important than pertinent emails, or this afternoon's meeting agenda .... these onslaught of notifications have taken priority in mainstream society. And unfortunately, have become our means of deflection against a harsh reality.
Once we submit that post, the flood gates of anticipation burst wide open. And the constant checking for justification begins.
We've become a generation that is as driven by attention as any other has been by money. We hustle harder and focus more on who cares, rather than what truly matters.
And to our own fault, it's consumed us so much that we're defined as a generation with our heads down.
It's ruining everything. So let me explain how :
It's Shifting Our Focus at Work.
I hope I can speak on behalf of all us when I say our professions should be challenging. They require a deliberate focus in order to be successful, and at times, agendas, meetings and deadlines can become quite overwhelming.
Throw in the distractions of our personal lives, whether it be our health or issues within our relationship, and we have a mind that's filled with a million thoughts. That should be enough, right?
But put up a photo on Facebook. The thought of who likes and comments on it will soon begin to take up real estate in your mind, and before you know it, your focus will shift from what's truly to important to something that realistically has no meaning.
Think about it for a moment. Why else do you post? To get distracted ...
It's an escape from reality, but one that costs some their jobs. Maybe you haven't gotten fired, but I can assure you that you're not mentally there.
You want to be successful, you want to give your family the world .... but here's a secret, a number of likes on your photo will never give you that.
It's Creating a False Sense of Acceptance.
Recently, Instagram changed it's algorithm for displaying your photos; no longer will they be placed in chronological order, but now in order of relevance. This sent people into a frenzy.
Everywhere I look, "turn on post notifications ....".
Yes, I'm sure you've seen it, too.
People have even written articles venting their frustration. But please, help me understand why?
If you're relevant in someone's life, they'll naturally have an interest in anything you share. It's like opening up a newspaper; one way or another, you'll find your way to your favorite journalist .. regardless of which page they sit on from day to day.
But maybe that's the problem. Maybe we're putting too much emphasis on people who aren't relevant in our life.
Clinging to every like, or every view. Mostly from strangers really; ones we've never met and probably never will. Some call them followers, other call them fans. You can acquire them through mutual friends, acquaintances, or you can just go buy yourself a few thousand.
Yes, people buy "followers".
Why? I've never been sure.
Maybe it makes them seem like they are high on some social latter that quite honestly, doesn't exist? Or maybe it gives them security to believe they matter to others. I don't fault them either way, though; society has made them believe the more you have, the more popular you'll be and the better chances you have at success. So in their defense, why not?
Regardless of why, all of this creates a false sense of acceptance. One that satisfies temporarily, no mater how many posts you put up a day.
Suddenly everyone is a celebrity, or believes they can be.
It's Destroying our Relationships.
This. Last, but most importantly.
It's happening. And the more we deny it, the harder it will be for our generation to live a life of love and happiness.
It's an addiction; deadlier than any drug on the market or bottle of alcohol on shelf. It takes our eyes off the road, our focus away from work, ourselves away from reality. It joins us in bed with our partners, travels on vacation with our families, and sits right next to us at our desks at work. It's by far the most accessible drug .... and it's free to all ages.
It's giving other people a key into our lives, and placing so much emphasis on what they think about us and what we have to say. So much that the people who should matter in our lives, often take a back seat to those who don't.
Men are cheating on their women, women are cheating on their men, and you are cheating on yourself. All for an artificial "like"? A number that indicates absolutely nothing.
How do you expect to build healthy relationships from that?
Suddenly that like gets misunderstood for interest, and then all of a sudden there's someone else in bed with you.
There's supposed to be something special about the love and the attention one particular person gives you. It's supposed to be uplifting; satisfying every desire you may have.
But how is it possible for one person to give you the adequate amount of attention, when there's thousands of others at your fingertips? All scattered on a newsfeed, or hiding behind the latest Snapchat story?
It creates this imbalance that slices away at trust. Working out your problems no longer involves a conversation, but rather a taking to social media to get your fix or to make your significant other jealous.
And if we don't stop now ... relationships as we once knew them will be gone forever. You can't put such an emphasis on everyone else but who matters and expect to create something lifelong.
Here's the thing ...
Someday, something will pave the way of change. And when all of these applications that have sucked us in cease to exist, and believe me one day they will, what will define you?
Hint : It won't be your last post.