Ok this is going to be a sweeping statement; we live in a society that is becoming more self obsessed and vacuous than ever.  There it is, I think today’s world involves navigating around media and advertising, that we probably think are tuning out, but image is all and substance is being pushed to the wayside. The most prevalent industries are image based; TV, film, news, magazine shows and media internet sites. You aren’t going to find the latest magazine front cover telling us about the cement industry. Unless it’s cement industry weekly, perhaps?! What they, and we forget is that we are human and when push comes to shove we need connection, not a facebook page, not a profile picture, not a tweet, an advert, a top ten list, not even this blog! But actual human company and we need to engage in real activities that bring joy, health and happiness into our lives.

Facebook was set up for Harvard students so that they could post pictures of themselves on it, the pictures of the girls were then voted on. The premise being that the girls on campus would be voted according to their looks, at the route of it, this is the ‘moral origin’ of Facebook. This is what other social networking platforms have built on, so where is the substance and how do we become more social when our connection is via an electronic device? Are we surprised that ‘selfies’ are abound? In truth a ‘selfie’ is taken by someone on their own, pointing their camera at themselves and posting it online, does this alone not tell us something?!

We spend more time talking about a TV programme we watched than actually asking how someone is. Technology is amazing, but really are we using if in the right way? To connect with someone on the other side of the earth is amazing, the exchange of information we can get from these sources on the internet is without a doubt extraordinary. But the trade off is real social skills, empathy and human connection, our souls are suffering, we say we are connected but we aren’t building on our relationships, we need more social activities, not more pictures of them.

I get torn between having a ‘presence online’ and just being more present with the people around me, I want to do well in my work and talk to lots of people and help them, I don’t just want to be a blog or a profile picture! There are other ways to make life more rewarding, I hope to meet more people with that kind of understanding, but sometimes I wonder!! I think learning to use technology for the right reasons is a balancing act, one that needs more fine tuning, we are very new to all of this, it’s not had enough time to produce a social ‘outcome’. I look around when I go out and I see people sitting next to each other but looking only at their phones or electronic devices and I can’t help but worry. I really think we could all benefit from more face to face and less screen to face time, that’s enough from me… it’s time to go out for a walk…

By Liv Lively

 

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