I can still remember growing up in the 90’s. Many can. I think that is why I am always biased toward those who were born in the 80’s. We are a special bunch of people who bore witness to the most crucial advances the technological world has ever seen. We moved through the vinyl to the CD to the clunky mp3 player to the advent of internet music and constant mobile access to every song ever created.
No one can ever say that they have not had the classic cartoons conversation with someone else of a similar age who remembered an old Disney series-style cartoon or the misadventures of so many characters on Cartoon Network. Even more so, how the idea of style and fashion always seems to wind its way around . Arguments we had in 1999 pale in comparison to serious misunderstandings we now have regarding the environment, economics, government, religion and the media. One that I would really like to muse over, would be the instantaneous levitation of Social Media and the comparison to the media sphere more than fifteen years ago.
It started with the creation of the internet and then Google. The limited access of services then compared to the ease of access now is stark! We would sing along with the phone line as the dial-up connection tried in vain to provide a steady portal to the world. Now, we are deeply gutted when we can’t get free WIFI access with our banting-based, paleo-inspired supper in a hipster feeding den. The connectivity you take for granted now is merely a by-product of the insatiable need for constant access to information to make decisions we think would make any difference at all.
Taking a photo in 1998 was merely a marked physical activity that would allow our memory to hold onto an activity as long as we could, never mind actually developing the film roll. Now, taking a photo is a prime opportunity to capture the best moment in the best possible way, not paying too much attention to the actual moment being lived. This has gone so far as starving ourselves of our meal (or spending moments upon moments deciding on an aesthetically pleasing meal) so that we may be so lucky as to share this moment with our ‘fans’. This is of course in the hopes that this moment would engender respect for #livingourbestlife.
One wonders how long this, too, shall last. It seems that our very existence now is solely based on how many people have access to the internet and if we have used the right filter to captivate them long enough to realise that we are living what they aspire to. It’s shallow to say the least but even I am totally guilty of this most heinous crime. The shameless pan-handling of one’s personality, talents, sights and lifestyle in order to get others to like what it is we are trying to sell.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not condemning us to a futile existence buckled over our phones in the hopes that someone might find us interesting enough to click on our profiles. I think rather that we should be more mindful of this and use it to our advantage by displaying our true nature. Use Social Media to reflect without filter but rather focus a telescope onto the realities of a distant planet by revealing useful facts about the entity without revealing the gold buried beneath the surface, welcoming others to arrive on its shores and plunder to their hearts content.
In light of the personal and economic bubble burst that Social Media has become, I think it is safe to say that one should not limit oneself to following the crowd. If Facebook works for you, use it. But don’t immediately assume that it is the be all and end all of your existence. My beliefs around Social Media are simple. You should use it to centre your internal thoughts with the full knowledge that you are doing so in a room completely enclosed by glass walls, a glass roof and more importantly a glass floor allowing the world to see you for face (tehehe) value. So while still being careful on what you post, you need to use that platform as your soap box and make the most of it.
#flynnigen is choosing to use other social media platforms as a spring board. Modes of expression and media are not oak trees that remain unchanging as the years flash past us in an epilepsy-inducing episode of TRL! I want to facilitate the processing of my thoughts in a fashion that acknowledges that what I think is not solidly complete and concrete, but just rather my interpretation and there are many others out there who can contribute. What better way than to use the small world social media has created?
I guess you could say that my biggest fear is that Youtube and the like killed the blogger and that people are just not up to the facilitation of thoughts anymore but rather quick selfies taken in toilets with captions so cryptic Stevie Wonder could see it floating around in space. I beg to differ and more importantly – I beg for change and stasis at the same time. Lets see some quality coming out of the ‘interwebs’ again!
“Do not go quietly into that good night” – Dylan Thomas