The technological advancements we have seen over the past few decades have not only revolutionized the manner in which we communicate but have also been largely influential on our thought processes as well. It seems as though people are no longer living for the moment but rather the social image. We are all in a constant state of a need for validation. We have created a persona of ourselves in which we are constantly behaving and portraying ourselves in the manner in which we will appear most favourable to others. Surely this is not a new tendency as society has always valued the opinions of others. However, when does the need to be “liked” both virtually and literally become clinical? One must stop and wonder how much of what they do in their day to day lives is for the sole purpose of gaining popularity and deriving confidence from their social networks.
It seems as though we have reached a point in our technologically advanced world in which our basic emotions can be determined based on the reaction one receives to what they are putting out there on the virtual global sphere. We take several of pictures of ourselves with slight variations in the angle to find that perfect shot that will gain us the most praise. We share every detail of what we are currently eating, wearing, doing, with whom, why, and for how long. What is the purpose of all of this? To impress others? What of ones opinion of his or herself? How could one be truly enjoying the moment if they are constantly wrapped up with how to best capture that moment so that they can share it to hundreds of their “closest friends.”
It could be argued that this may be a primitive competitive instinct seeping through our touch screens – to appear superior, to be more desirable to the opposite sex, and appear as a threat to our own gender. One could strip it down to being as basic as this. Or it could simply be that we are all just that insecure that we must place precedence of ones false adoration for us over pride in ourselves.
This phenomenon has become fairly prevalent amongst the youth of today. However, it can be seen across various age ranges. Anyone technologically savvy must have at least one or two forms of social networking – to which they are constantly “plugged” in to.
All of this seems fairly harmless – I mean after all it is just pictures and words. There is no problem with utilizing these time occupying tools as a form of expression. However, what irks me about all of this is the danger it poses to our ability to be critical thinkers. Living in this world of explosive internet information from unaccredited sources is a real danger. We are all becoming passive recipients of information. Never applying critical thought, never second guessing the plethora of information we are consuming with every click or scroll.
I wonder what is to come in the near future, if we all become followers – whose the one taking the lead?