I've always been baffled by it's title : social media.
It's become our platform for broadcasting life in an instant. It's given us an audience of epic proportions. But is it truly a social platform? Or has it hindered our ability to be just that?
I stumbled across a picture of a couple from what seems to be the 1950's. He was dressed in a suit and she was outfitted in a dress; rather uniform for that day in time. The two sat on barstools in a diner with a Coca-Cola soda fountain in the backdrop while he held a milkshake for her to drink. It was a pretty romantic site, but one that has become so unfamiliar to our society.
I immediately thought to myself,
"This isn't even close to existing in our world today".
If we were to reenact this picture in 2015, there would be a phone in each one of their hands and one of them, if not both, would be taking a picture to post on Instagram or some snap .
Hashtag milkshake with bae.
Sounds pretty accurate, right?
We've lost sight of reality, and have ventured so far off in this fantasy world that we call social media. Filled with hashtags, snapchat stories and check-ins.
It's become our obsession.
Followers and likes have become the new form of acceptance in society. The more you have, the higher you are on this social latter that all of a sudden matters.
And who needs real friends? I have 5,000 people to give me the fix i need, whenever I need it.
A mogul, an entrepreneur, a fitness champ, a tech guru, a catfish ...
It's an environment where you can be whatever you want to be; an imaginary world where your mind can run free.
And it's consumed us like we're fish in a vast ocean.
Gone are the days where savoring the moment referred to holding hands and just taking everything in; somehow getting lost in the world around you.
Today it refers to pulling out your phone and snapping away for the ideal shot, writing the perfect post, tagging each other in a specific location, or letting the world know exactly what the two of you are doing at that moment in time.
Instead of getting lost in each other, we're getting lost within an application. For acceptance from people who quite honestly don't matter and certainly don't care.
We've basically said that the world we live in and the people we love are boring; that we find reassurance in what strangers think rather than those whom we call our own.
Why care that your girlfriend is sick? Johnny's cousin's son just a hit a homer in his first little league game. That's definitely more important and deserves your immediate attention.
Who cares that this was your first date? That sunset was epic and is definitely worth a hundred likes (Valencia or X-Pro?).
We're not just filtering our photos, we're filtering our life from it's greatest moments.
And we're okay with it.
The only problem? Our life doesn't exist on a server; it runs in real time. Time that we can never get back no matter how far back we scroll on our timeline.
Some will argue that capturing a moment has been a staple for years dating back to the polaroid camera. They're correct.
Yet the only difference was that we were capturing moments for our own keepsake, not for immediate validation from others.
This is our reality. It's concerning to me, and definitely needs to be concerning to you. Not just for our generation, but our children as well.
Social media is even changing the landscape of how we meet others and start dating.
"Mom, how did you meet dad?"
"I swiped right, honey."
How crazy does that sound?
Don't laugh too hard because it's true.
Some of my favorite moments of sitting down with my grandparents were them sharing stories with me of how they met each other. It was raw, passionate and intimate.
The Pier down by the water in Brooklyn seems much more romantic and believable than saying "Tinder".
But we've reduced some of our most intimate emotions today to a single hand gesture that we believe will find us true love.
We've given choosing a life partner a whole new meaning. And it's simply because we've forgotten how socialize with other human beings.
We've forgotten how to look up into someones eyes and say "Hello".
Something so simple, yet so foreign in the world we live in.
We've lost our ability to keep the conversation going. It's as if we find discomfort in speaking to one another; we prefer this digital form of communication as it shields us from the harsh reality of rejection.
But I'm not sure why?
Connecting with other people is one of the best gifts. It's how we learn, how we grow, how we fall in love.
Yet we seem to wonder why our relationships fail.
We're building them on the same foundation in which so many today falter.
"He/She is on their phone too much".
We've all heard that numerous times before.
However, months into your relationship, you have to pull teeth to get a response right away.
How does that make sense?
Their focus has shifted from you, to everything but you.
And somehow, we've accepted that as the norm. Sadly, we are a generation that seems to be okay with part-time affection and love.
Life is amazing and the experiences afforded to us are a blessing. When are we going to stop focusing on what everyone else is doing and begin to love everything that we're doing?
In twenty years when you're sitting back with your husband or wife, and your children, do you really think it's going to matter what some stranger thought about your selfie in Bryant Park?
What's going to matter are the moments you shared with the people you love. And while a photo or status update will suffice as a gateway to the past, nothing can replace a memory seared in your heart.
Look up. Say hello. Get lost in the world.
Life is happening all around you in a post that you'll never get a chance to go back and like.