Social Media: What Is It Really?
I was sitting in my Sociology class a couple days ago when MNU’s beloved professor, Bo Cassell, brought up an interesting point. Why do we have social media? What is the point of it in today’s society? Why is it so valued? How has it affected our culture today? We discussed our theories. But what stuck out in my mind was Professor Cassell’s statement, “Now days, we do things in life so we can post about it.” MIND BLOWN.
This got me thinking, what would our lives be without social media? Think about it. We go to a party, and we tweet at least a couple times about how awesome the party is. We get together for coffee with friends and we have to instagram a picture with our friends and our Starbucks beverage. We are approaching Thanksgiving, so we must post a status on Facebook about all the things we are thankful for. The status’ I tend to see look like:
I am soooooo thankful for the most amazing family in the world, the greatest bff’s a girl could ask for, and the hands-down best boyfriend ever xoxoxo love you baby. #soblessed #myboyfriendisbetterthanyours #ilovehashtags
(okay that was a bit extreme but side note, have you ever seen those hashtags? My boyfriend is better than yours? Because let’s be real, is he really? Who are you even talking to? Who is he better than? Everyone? Ah, oh well, love is blind so they say :))
Anyways… none of these things are bad! It is great to express thankfulness and gratitude (stay tuned for my next blog). But look at the theme here, if we get down to the sociological factors, we all do this to put on a persona that our life is perfect and that others should want to be us.
Professor Cassell mentioned in class that in recent years, marathons have never been more popular. Why? Because everyone wants to post about it! If someone goes skydiving, bungee jumping, or something else extreme I guarantee they will post about it on social media. Now I’m not going to lie, if I went skydiving I would definitely be posting about it like there’s no tomorrow. But you get the point. Take this week at MNU for example, if you didn’t know (which if you don’t know and you attend this school, you probably are not active on social media) this is TWIRP week. You can read some other blog posts if you want more information, but basically it is a girl ask a guy event. But think about how many posts were made just about TWIRP! Oh and let me guarantee you that on Sunday/Monday there will be some ice-skating pictures up from our MNU ASG event.
Now I am not saying that any of this is bad, because I am guilty of it as well! And I am not even suggesting that this should change. But be aware of these persona’s people try to create; there are some serious dangers. We assume our sister is happy because she just instagramed a picture of herself smiling, we assume that our cousin is all good with life because she just changed her relationship status to “in a relationship”, we assume that our friend is having the time of his life because he tweets about all these parties he is getting invited to. The problem is we assume, and miss out on the personal communication. So I am challenging you, not to change what and why you post on social media, I am only challenging you to see your friends beyond it. It is easy to appear to be doing great, we do that on purpose daily. But get behind the surface of a persona on social media and you find a real person that may need a friend.
So that’s my blog for the week! It got a bit deep at the end, but I hope you take the challenge! I plan to! Oh and by the way—if you are looking for a good class at MNU I recommend Sociology with Professor Cassell! It is great! (P.S. Don’t stop posting your TWIRP pictures! I only used it as an illustration! I love seeing them!)
Thanks for stopping by!
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