Do we care about anything?
I mean do we genuinely talk to each other anymore? It is kind of like we are all just coexisting with one another. It has been argued that social media, in all its glory, benefits us but also puts us at a disadvantage. It controls our lives in a way that nobody thinks about. We do not eat, sleep, hangout with friends, or go to the bathroom, without talking about it. Our jobs look at our social media, our significant others (for their own reasons) look at our social media, we constantly update our social media, but do we even take time to talk about all these interactions we are making, No. That is in part because the interactions being made everyday on social media are not truly genuine interactions and even if they are, I mean really, do we know how to make our own interactions.
Memes now even have a definition! I mean it could have been there for a while now, but why does a meme need a definition of its own? Probably because they are used to relay messages and make light of situations. That is our problem now as society in the age of social media and technology. We use social media to cope with too many things and we use it to portray a different part of ourselves that we know is fake!
When trump won the election twitter, instagram, and facebook blew up with statuses, memes, and hashtags making fun of what just happened! Trump is now the president of the United States and for the majority of people that did not vote for him and knew that this probably was not the greatest moment in history, were making fun of the situation. I believe people use memes and make #hashtags in order to make the situation better; that does work in the digital world, where stuff does not matter anymore once you log out the computer, however, this is real life, real problems, and real issues that have to be addressed in REAL life.
Additionally, social media is used as a tool to“catfish” people, otherwise known as pretending to be someone you are not. People hide behind social media accounts in order to portray this persona that is acceptible in society or in order to stand out against the crowd. That is where we get the question of genuine relationships now a days. I mean since everything is so fabricated for social media, do we genuinely have conversations anymore? Many of the conversations I have with my friend group always consist of what funny memes we saw on Twitter or tasty videos we saw on Facebook. That should not be the case, conversations should be like how they used to be in 1995, where people talked about their day at work, local news, or important issues.
That leads me to the question: does technology really help us in the long run or hurt us in the long run?
I mean think about it, technology, although it has evolved greatly, it does not 100 percent help us. It takes away from the reality of issues, and it destroys relationships. We can argue that techonology has made some of the biggest breakthorughs, and solves some of the biggest cases out there, however, for the masses has it helped us as a people move ahead.
Leo Marx, a former professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discusses in his artical, “Technology the Emergence of a Hazardous Concept”, the history of technology and what the concept initially was meant to do for people and how technology is hazardous to society now. Marx’s theory is that we as people have given too much power to the word technology and we are letting this idea control the way decision-making in society, where we focus solely on technological advancements. He argues that once we start focusing more on technology and allowing it to stand on its own we start to forget our moral standards as a society. In his aticle he mentions that:
By treating these inanimate objects — machines — as causal agents, we divert attention from the human (especially socioeconomic and political) relations responsible for precipi- tating this social upheaval.
This quote, in relation to the topic of this article, the fact that social media and technology are taking the seriousness out of today’s issues and promoting non-meaningful relationships in society, explains why this topic is so crucial because technology — the concept or thing — is repeaing the benefits instead of individuals. It has been this way, as Marx identifies, for a really long time and the idea of technology was not even created in the likeness of the middle to lower class it was creating to make the idea of mechanics and art sound more fancy; and make our progress in America look more perfect.
Ultimately, today the realness of conversation is taken away from society and it is not in society’s favor. We are constantly fighting battles for equal rights on all spectrums, but in some ways technology and social media does not help us directly do that on a psychological level. In my opinion, social media is just a laugh for us to get through the pain of what is going on in our country and around the world. Likewise, with technology it is making it less about real relationships and more about likes, retweets, and shares.