My Blog: Lyric Fire: Social Medi’ocrity

My neck hurts. Why you say? Because I’m always craning down looking at my cell phone or iPod. I’m texting, posting, clicking and twirling.Technology is fabulous isn’t it? I love listening to my favorite tunes, knowing what the temperature will be, where my friends are and the news of the day. I can even watch videos and movies while I do my laundry.

But as I walk around the city and see others with their necks bent too it makes me wonder if having constant access to information and entertainment is really such a good thing. Wow, okay I can’t believe I just wrote that, but I need to question our attachment to technology because we are gradually becoming socially inept because of it. Some of us are even becoming more rude and mean due to the freedom that texting and posting to social sites can bring.

When we read news articles or listen to music or watch videos online we are often afforded the opportunity to post our opinions about what we’ve consumed. Reading the comments are sometimes more entertaining than the subject because they are truly reflective of what we’re becoming as a society. Most people express thought provoking and even humorous opinions that actually add to the discussion intelligently. It is troubling though to see comments that are filled with racist, sexist and derogatory views and I wonder whether these people are sitting next to me in the movie theater or ringing up my groceries.

When we do shut our computers down and leave the house we often feel naked without our cell phones. I recently went out to lunch with a good friend and both of us probably looked more at our cell phone screens than each other. Neither one of us meant any harm and I know for a fact that we were very happy to be in each other’s company, but technology was a constant interruption.

Another pet peeve of mine is the lack of detail we now convey in our writing. I have never seen so many misspellings and made up words due to the space constraints of texting and posting to sites. Twitter with its 140 character limit challenges the tweeter to express their thoughts in as few words as possible and that leads people to shorten and even obliterate words altogether. I am even guilty of substituting numbers (2/to, 4/for) for words to save space.

Technological advances have allowed us to work more efficiently, communicate quicker and bridge long distances. We are definitely better for it. But, we must remember the advantages of truly being social, which means speaking to one another in person from time to time, traveling and experiencing different cultures and touching others with our physical embraces.

Social media is meant to enhance our communications skills. Technology is soulless, but we aren’t. We¬† will become so though if we allow gadgets and toys to totally rule our world. So the next time you’re tempted to text, pick up the phone or visit the person instead. We all need that personal touch that a text can never give us.

Peace…

© 2010 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Comments (8 Responses)

  1. As we move deeper into the instant-gratification generation of the online, instant-messaging, no-time to talk, too-busy-chatting world of information communication, it is inevitable that our mindsets become assimilated by the popular trends and language of the shared medium. In other words, our speech is going to continue to devolve unless we take a stand and encourage others not to lose sight of our basic fundamentals of reading, writing, and the other thing.
    Incidentally, I’ve only recently acquired a cell phone for the first time and I’ve done little more than send random messages and voice-mails to friends at weird hours of the night. Other than that, it makes for a really fancy watch.

  2. I see we are of the same mindset on this issue. Thanks so much for sharing your comment and I will continue to challenge others and myself to be more soulfully social.
    Tamstarz

  3. Stefanie says:

    Agreed.
    Recently I’ve started limiting my online presence because I was starting to feel as is if I was too accessible.
    Now… If I’m enjoying time with my son, friends or family, I cut the technology off. Most weekends, I try to stay offline because its so easy to become a slave to it.
    Although, I do suspect as technology advances it will become increasingly difficult not to be attached to it all day everyday.

  4. Hi Stefanie. Thanks for weighing in on this. As writers and artists we have to stay in step with current technology to support and promote our work, but it can become very addicting. I agree with how you are evaluating and monitoring your social media usage. I am trying to do the same.
    At bedtime I’ve started to put my cell phone in the next room and on silent so I’m not tempted to keep tapping on it all night long. It’s very helpful!
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
    Cheers!
    Tamstarz

  5. Amen, Tam. I have been saying this for years and no one will listen.

  6. Hi Lisa! Yes, I think we’ve become hypnotized by technology. We need to prioritize our usage and break the spell!
    Thanks for commenting! Have a wonderful day!
    Tamstarz

  7. Hello there : )
    Why is it that men and women (society generally) still pre-judge people with tats. women especially?
    I’m a 26 year old F, have 11 tattoos, lots of which can’t be noticed on my daily travels. 5 To 6 during the warm months are pretty much constantly on display. I do not aim for attention and I have a loving boyfriend WITH NO TATTOOS .I get the impression that numerous people think that tattooed people are blind, as we get stared at, even if we return a glance many people keep on staring. When will society change?

  8. Hello Girly Tattoos. Uh, I’m not quite sure what your comment has to do with my post on social media obsession, but since I am also tattooed (I currently only have one – click here to see it and read a profile about me: http://lyricfire.typepad.com/lyric-fire/2010/04/my-blog-lyric-fire-tattoos-poetry.html) I thought I’d respond.
    Being the visual creatures that we are we will always look at something that is out of the ordinary for us. Most people were raised to think body art is bad or wrong so I’m sure when some people stare they are going back to that initial belief system. Others may actually be admiring your tats.
    It is rude to stare, but if no one looked at or appreciated tattoos or other things about our physical appearance I’m sure we’d question that as well.
    Anytime you get a tat or an extreme haircut or dress in a way that is different from the norm you will most definitely get attention so it’s best to feel absolutely comfortable in your own skin so you won’t feel so uncomfortable under the glare of others.
    Thanks for your comment!

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