The Irony of Social-Media

Their silence was deafening. The only sound that could be heard was the train swaying side to side as it sped along the tracks. There I was sitting in the carriage with a handful of people, all of whom were frantically texting, facebooking and tweeting. The awkwardness consumed me, the sense of belonging vanished, my hands empty while I nervously looked at all the glowing phones…for the first time in a long time I felt out of place, uncomfortable and somewhat alien in a familiar environment. Yes, I was experiencing a severe case of ‘Oh My God my phone is dead and now someone on the train, heaven forbid may want to actually spark up a conversation with me.’

It’s true technology and the proliferation of smart phones, apps, and anything else that requires a wave of your index finger has indeed made life somewhat easier, but it is also undoubtedly producing anti-social behaviour. Take a look around you, everyone is on their phone and it has become so prevalent today that it’s almost uncommon for someone to not be on some form of technology drumming away at the screen.  You may even be reading this on your phone.

But this anti-social behaviour is not limited to trains. We now have the ability to ‘check-in’ wherever we are thanks to facebook applications adding to our anti social behaviour.  Because let’s face it everyone should know that you are at a local coffee shop with a friend, drinking a latte oh and don’t forget to take a photo of your coffee and slice of cheese cake for Instagram because everyone needs to know what a latte and slice of cheese cake looks like. And yes, I like millions around the world are guilty of this pointless phenomena that has consumed young and old.

Although the digital age has intimately connected us online, we have never been so physically disconnected than at any other time period in history. The irony is laughable; social-media has in fact turned us into anti-social beings. The use of smart phones and the desperation to capture every moment seems pivotal to various environments like:  When dining with friends, taking a drive around town, at the beach, in the movies and even study… because everyone needs to know exactly how your study space looks like.  

Now I’m not anti- technology but smart phones and other forms of technology are increasingly making us introverted, and it’s only a matter of time where our face-to-face social skills further deteriorate.  What’s worrying about this revolution is that it is not necessarily only the technology that is making us anti-social but also people’s choice to be anti-social. I and undoubtedly millions of others prefer to wear our headset on the train because we know no one will interrupt us by wanting to talk. The freedom of this choice has allowed smart phones and other technologies alike, to be used as a tool for avoiding awkward situations and nervousness by offering a simple solution… just pull out your phone,  log onto facebook and post a status about the awkwardness and it should be cured.

We are living our lives online and are neglecting our physical surroundings but don’t worry its okay because everyone is doing it. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to post a status about the completion of this article.

 

Widyan Al Ubudy

 

 

As published in Anoujoum magazine.

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~ by widyanalubudy on August 3, 2012.

One Response to “The Irony of Social-Media”

  1. A very true statement, and something I will also be blogging about (although not as profoundly as you do!), and I laughed at the last sentence. Terrific!

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