I love social media. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, I cannot get enough. I am not including Facebook, since I feel like it is mostly populated by parents and scary political arguments that never go anywhere. But oftentimes, I feel as if there is a negative stigma attached to liking and posting on social media. Granted, it is warranted at times, but for the most part, I just do not understand the aversion.
In all fairness, I will be the first person to tell you everything that is wrong with social media. Being on your phone all the time takes you away from the present and the people around you, which is generally a bad thing. And some people do get a little obsessive with posting, which is also generally a bad thing. Nobody needs to know everything about your life. Cool it.
But the bottom line is, social media is still dope. Sometimes there can be this push to go off the grid, this mentality that the only right way to live is to get rid of your social media accounts, and deactivate your smart phone, and re-center your chi with Mother Earth. The thing is, I just do not think you have to get rid of your social media accounts to enjoy creation and the people around you. If anything, I see social media as enhancing both of those experiences.
Instagram gives us the opportunity to share pictures of how cool our days/lives are. I can either post a picture from my spring break trip to New York City or a snapshot of me wearing sandals on a beautiful spring day, and just like that, I am sharing a little slice of my life with everyone, letting them see the world from my point of view. And sometimes, the world is a pretty cool place when you look at it from someone else’s point of view.
For me, I use Twitter as one of my main news source. I follow several publications and keep up on politics and current events, all by scrolling through my timeline. In today’s world, a lot of people can be disillusioned with staying connected, considering the state of things. But I think that is why it is all the more important to stay connected.
Social media is a sort of shared experience between people from all over the world. You can follow people in Syria in the midst of a civil war, or people in Ferguson participating in Black Lives Mater protests or people in Washington, D.C., trying to affect change on a national and international level. You can learn about their experiences and worldviews straight from their own words, pictures and accounts.
Why would you not seek out these opportunities to connect with those all over, those struggling, those that inspire you or even just those that make you laugh? It makes this huge world seem a little smaller, sometimes a little more friendly, and always more complex—and does that not make you want to explore it even more?
Social media gives us the opportunity to not only learn about culture, but also share in it. So while going off the grid is great in some regards, why not take the opportunity to experience the world through sharing it with others?