My recent experiment with Digital Sabbatical led me to thinking… why do we socialise in social media? Why do we ‘share’? Why do we share articles, photos, quotes, events? Why do we tag posts and friends? Why do we?
Like and share
Twit and re-twit
InstaFollow and InstaLike
Counting Followers, collecting likes, twitting all the hot topics and hashtags. The magic symbol of #…
We take numerous pictures of our food, places we are at, events we are attending, new romantic interest we’ve just met. We announce any and every change in our relationship status, hair colour, weight, style and geographical position. We share our thoughts, feelings, emotions. We appropriate (hot word of the month, by the way) somebody else’s thoughts, feelings and emotions in form of memes, images, quotes, links and references.
I am not worried that I will not invent a bicycle or open a new America with my conclusions and realisations. I know it’s all been done before. What I am doing with this post is trying to shape my thoughts on the matter. The matter is ‘sharing’ in terms of living our lives out there somewhere. Why do we do it? Can we be offline at all? Can we live when offline? And is there life in concrete reality, not in virtual?
Here is my dot point form of thinking
- I once read somewhere that nowdays, we talk not to listen but to respond. I am sad to say, it’s true. I, myself, am guilty as charged. We are overwhelmed with information. We know to much for our own well-being. We hear, read, watch and absorb way to much information on such a wide variety of topics that it’s impossible to contain, to comprehend, to process and store. We need to let it out. We need to talk it out. That is why we do not listen, we respond. We listen only for ques, for hooks where to place our own information within the thread of the conversation. That is all.
- When we are online we… we want to be seen and heard, we want to be liked. Thus, we either get in with the trend or create a trend of our own. The latter needs time, effort and creativity, the former… is much easier to do. We like all the cool things. We share all the cool things… Says who, you might ask. Well, the others like us. If an image is liked 10000 times… you get my gist.
- We want to be poplular. We look for all the popular hashtags, images, links, events, etc. and get involved.
- When I first started on Twitter I thought I had to create my own hashtags. Now, however, I realised that I am better of (when it comes to popularity) to use existing hashtags that are in the works at any given moment. Yeah, I thought I was original and cool. Apparently, to be cool and popular you need to be one of many, of very very many.
- What happens when we go offline? Let me tell you, absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. World does not stop. Nothing happens outside of ourselves… Trust me, I’ve tried Digital Sabbatical, I know. It’s good for you but nobody in your social media circles notices. Funny, ha))). However, when you do go offline you actually have a chance to see what you are filming, posting, sharing, photoshoping and so on in real settings. You can see the sky. You can lie on the grass and just feel it.You can eat your ice-cream and actually enjoying, without waiting for the image to upload while your ice cream is melting away. Live a little. Go offline.
- Why do we bother? Why do we bother with this crap? If nothing changes when we are offline. If no one notices if we are online or offline. If our ice cream melts and we don’t even remember what it tastes like…
I am not going to get all psychological or political here, no way. I am simply sharing my thoughts after having my own Digital Sabbatical.
I stayed offline for the whole weekend. I found it very difficult to do. There were so many things to share))). However, I also found my sabbatical to be a very freeing, mind-cleansing, soul-lightening exercise. I am going to do it more often now.
So, why do we share? Why do we like, poke, re-twit and follow? Why do we ‘collect’ friends and followers? Are we that lonely? Do we need justification so much? Reassurance? Or do we simply want our 5 seconds of fame every day?)))
Let me know