A Like For A Like

We used to judge someone’s popularity based on how many Myspace friends they had, then that graduated to Facebook friends, and then to Instagram followers and likes. I can’t lie and say I’ve never fallen victim to silently linking unpopularity to a low number of Instagram followers, especially in college, but can now confidently say that your social media “friends” have nothing to do with your friends.

Now, it’s almost annoying to have to have an excessive amount of connections on social media because I constantly find myself wondering who some of the people are in my feed, and more importantly, why am I liking their posts? There are multiple times a day I find myself having to click and creep on someone’s Facebook page to figure out who the page actually belongs to, which basically admits I spend entirely way too much time on social media, but I know I’m not the only one guilty of this. Why am I liking pictures of your dog, your brother-in-law’s friends baby, your dinner or your new hair style? It has become second nature to like multiple Instagram posts in a row, most of the time without even really taking notice to what’s in the square frame. And the fact that the stigma associated with likes and popularity has increased so much in the last four years just makes me realize how much wasted time on social media has also increased. For example, when Instagram started becoming popular a few years ago, a lot of likes was considered 30 or more, now, people pray not to be cursed with receiving less than 100. But a good enough caption can go a long way.

The number 100 doesn’t seem large in the grand scheme of the things, but seriously who actually has 100 friends? If we were only connected on social media sites with just the people we’re friends with, I would have about 25 followers. I have almost 800 Instagram followers and over 1,000 Facebook friends, so you can see my issue with the ratio here; averaging at 150 likes, only about 17% of them I talk to on a regular basis.  Maybe my definition of a friend differs, but my standard includes anyone I would be comfortable hanging out with one on one. However, we live in a society obsessed with social media and constant communication, so we follow people we met once eight years ago and continue to be dedicated likers. Again, guilty.

It’s pretty sad that in college you may have been considered a bitch if you didn’t like someone’s post that continually liked yours. Either that, or the person thinks they wronged you in some way. Or, someone didn’t think you’re attractive. God, what an asshole. But putting it into perspective, half the time I don’t even like a picture, I just tap twice because I feel indirectly, morally obligated. It’s like an unwritten rule among millennials. But when do we draw the line? Will we forever be following and supporting  people’s life decisions, events, news, and announcements through a virtual thumbs up or heart? Will this continue on until we’re eventually liking pictures of their grandchildren’s first day of school? I honestly have no idea because the social media market is constantly growing and changing, I’m almost hoping Myspace makes a comeback one day.

I’m not saying it’s ridiculous or wrong in any way to ‘like’ our acquaintance’s posts, I’m just examining the reality behind it. Maybe one day I’ll dissect my list of friends on Facebook to those I’m close with, or sift through Instagram and delete people I met in high school who I haven’t seen or heard from since graduation, but until now I’ll continue to religiously like the pictures and posts in my news feed.

 

Advertisements

Will Life Always Be A Series of Likes? 

Driving in my car the other day, I heard a statistic on the radio that surprised me, or more so, startled me. The statistic read that ‘social media is currently more utilized and active within adults ages 35-49, as opposed to the assumed adult group of ages 20-34.’ After graduating college and entering the adult world, I thought I was exiting the realm of constant and endless refreshing, irrelevant posts, and giving a like for a like. But maybe, it seems, I’m just entering.

As much as we don’t want to admit it, we spend an unhealthy amount of time on various social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram. It could be classified as a hobby for some of us if you want get technical because by definition, a hobby is an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. You know what they say, if the shoe fits. And as much as I personally try to devote less time to scrolling through Instagram and looking at the same set of pictures I just saw 5 seconds ago, or watching my friend’s snap chat stories (usually not even paying attention to what I’m watching but just clicking it so it clears from my stories list), I fall victim into black hole of social media.

Perhaps hobby wasn’t even the right word for describing what kind of activity social media is for some people, but maybe it’s a habit. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve thought to myself “Okay, time to get up and get stuff done, stop looking at your phone” and then without even thinking, I’m right back to scrolling through Twitter or watching a Tasty video on Facebook that I’ll never attempt to try.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with social media- I’m an avid Tweeter, Gramer, Chatter, and Booker, but after this statistic it’s alarming to think that maybe we won’t grow out of this phase and life doesn’t get more exciting as we get older.

My friend, Dee, sent me a screen shot of a tweet she came across that read, “Sooo do I just randomly decide to be an adult one day and delete Twitter or am I gonna be 40 tweeting about my annoying daughter or what”. This woman’s thoughts on the correlation between age and social media hinders why I’m questioning the same topic.

In recent years, Facebook has become more than just a social media site and evolved into more of a foundation on how to keep updated on people’s lives, but more precisely, meaningful things happening in people’s lives like marriages, babies, graduations, and even deaths, unfortunately. This social media site in particular is also probably more often utilized by adults 40 and over, who may not have the time to catch up with everyone of their friends and family on a daily basis, and it provides a good way to stay informed about happenings within the lives of those people you’ve grown apart from, but still care about. So, Facebook, you get a free pass.

On the contrary, Snap Chat is most definitely primarily a younger market, and serves absolutely no purpose. I definitely indulge in using my snap chat story way too often, but when will I stop? At what age does it become too immature and redundant? How many meals can we post on our stories until we realize that no one actually cares, or when will we stop posting ten second long videos of us and our friends that, other than the people involved, no one else has any idea what’s happening. Or when will we realize that we all have cameras on our phones that can take pictures that last longer than 24 hours? (And probably provide better quality, especially if you have an Android).

Instagram is probably my favorite social media site to use right now, because I like looking at really cool pictures of different people’s vacations or artsy photos or just pictures when people look to be their best selves. And of course the memes! But something that I do notice that I ‘m tired of seeing is girls posting selfies with an irrelevant caption,  “throwbacks” from 2 months ago, and degrading or uneducated posts, usually regarding politics, because I think that’s meant for Twitter.

Twitter is useful for different things like promotions, businesses, politics, news, and much more. I think it’s something I’ll probably always use, but when do we stop tweeting things about our own life? When’s that cut off between using it to obtain information about things other than our friends, and use it as a mature adult trying to stay informed about things happening around the world?

Like I said, I don’t think social media is a bad thing, I just think it takes up too much of our time, and how our time could be used towards so much more. I also don’t know when it changes for us. When will it not be all about how many likes you get on a post? When will it not be all about how many favorites or re-tweets it gets? When will we start liking pictures because we actually like them, and not just because we feel obligated? When will we unfriend or unfollow people we added while drunk at a party one night and play absolutely any relevance in our lives?

Social media is definitely important, I especially know that from having my degree in Marketing, but when will our lives stop revolving around it?