McFly nailed it with their opening chorus: It’s all about you. It’s about you. It’s all about you, baby.
I’ve been thinking about how to break the self-absorbed ‘it’s all about me’ mentality that is pervasive through out the social media world. Or is that we’ve always wanted to shout, ‘look at me, look at me, i’m special’ but never had the means or platform to do so? Of course social media makes that easy to do now. So much so that it’s becoming an increasingly noisier world with all aspects of society competing for our attention. And hey, I’ll hold my hand up and admit that I am guilty of adding to the noise, let’s face it, back in the day, I would have just written this post in my journal and called it a day. But now, I can write it, hit send and BAM! It’s in your newsfeed trying to find space in your consciousness.
But then again, maybe it’s nothing new here. We love stories. It seems to be an essential part of our DNA. And maybe before the Internet, technology drove a wedge between us. We were isolated cogs in the machine. Gone was the campfire to gather around at the end of the day to share our stories. Gone was the gathering in the long house to break bread together and talk and share stories of our day. Work, work, work and more work made us lonely, but not alone.
The Internet exploded and suddenly we could start connecting with people again. We could start sharing our stories – the insignificant to the sublime – again with our tribe. People are starting to feel connected again. Yeah, I know, there are those amongst us who believe we are spending too much time on “social” media, our faces glued to a screen of one sort or another. There are those amongst us who believe we are becoming isolated from the people who are right next to us. You see it all of the time, a family, or a group of friends, out for a meal and every single one of the people at the table is on their mobile phone instead of talking to each other. I would like to say that that is the extreme, but it’s more the norm than not nowadays. I’m guilty of it. Where some people see this as rude, I see it as the reality of 21st century socialising. Good thing or bad thing, I don’t know.
It’s probably easy to say that things were better before social media, that people actually talked to one another, but if that’s the case, why the flock to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat et al? Why am I writing this instead of calling you on the phone to talk about it? Or dropping by your crib for a cup of coffee and a fireside chat on the matter?
I’m wondering if all of this posting, tweeting, and instagraming is a way for us to feel less insignificant about ourselves. Maybe social media makes us feel like we are relevant, that we have a voice and it matters – that we matter.
What do you think?