Thursday, November 7, 2013

Living vs #Living

Are you living or #living?  

How many times a day do you check Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?  If you're like me you would probably be ashamed of the number if you actually counted.  These internet sites have taken over our lives in more ways than we can even begin to realize.  It's how we're beginning to judge our self-worth, attractiveness, quality of life....and to be honest it's ridiculous.  Sad, really.  I am only 24 and can see a vast difference in our world just due to these social networks.  

I can admit it.  I love social media.  It's fun to keep up with old friends and classmates, to see who's getting engaged or having babies, etc.  What bothers me about these networks is that they are causing people to #live instead of live.  

I was at an event last night at the public library and had the opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor speak.  What an opportunity!  We really are the last generation that will have opportunities like this and we would be crazy not to jump at the chance.  As the event went on, I noticed something going on in the audience that made me quite sad.  I saw several (and I mean several) young people trolling these before mentioned social websites.  They were taking pictures of the speaker and uploading them.  You see, it was important that their social media "friends" know that they were listening to a #Holocaust #survivor speak about #suffering #Germany and #hope.  I didn't find it irritating like I thought I would, instead it just brought me a great sense of sadness because I realized that this happens so often.

Here these people had the opportunity to hear an experience from someone who had gone through a terrifying ordeal and had not only survived, but triumphed. Instead of being captivated, they were more worried about everyone knowing where they were and scrolling through their news feeds.  It's awesome to share what you're doing with everyone but how are you going to share information and the incredible story you heard if you were too busy telling people what you were doing to really listen?

I see this happening more and more everyday.  When we should be experiencing great moments and really relishing these special times, a large part of our society has a greater concern that everyone know what they are up to.  Have I been guilty of this? Absolutely.  Will I continue to use social media? Sure.  It is part of our culture today but we cannot let a hobby networking site steal our precious moments of education, understanding and life.

I can't tell you how many times I get on social media and people have posted 35 pictures from a concert they went to from the concert.  Post 1 or 2 if you want, but why are you on Facebook posting pictures?  You have a live musician in front of you with amazing talent, listen.  Out to dinner with family?  Put your phone on silent and talk to them.  I understand the urge to check your phone, I'm guilty and fight the urge all the time.  I have made a conscious effort lately to leave my phone alone more and focus on the here and now.  I can't tell you how much more I enjoy dinners with family or friends or a long run that isn't interrupted from chronic beeping about emails, texts or who's #workingout, #watchingtv or #sleeping.  Not to mention, it's a respect issue.  Now that I've started cutting my attachment to my phone it irritates me so much more when others are on theirs.  

I believe that it is so important for us to stop chronicling every detail of our lives and what we're doing and instead just enjoy the moment while you're living it.  You won't get the moment back but Instagram will still be there to post a picture later.  If we are focusing on a lit up screen and telling everyone else what we're experiencing, we aren't really experiencing those great moments are we?  That person you are with isn't getting your focus, your "friends" on the computer are.  

Here's to really living life.  Taking in the sights and sounds and committing those to memory.  100% throwing yourself into what you're experiencing and sharing the joy and excitement of that with those you are with at the time.  How much happier we would all be if we just really focused on living instead of #living?

1 comment:

  1. Kelsey I think that is a wonderful attitude, and it is not just younger people it is all age groups. how many people do you hear talking on their cellphones in eating places when they go out to dinner with FAMILY. very disrespectful.