Social Media and Technology has me a little worried

Social media is awesome. I cannot deny that I am not an everyday user. It plays a very big part of my life and yes, if it suddenly wasn't around, I would feel a little lost. I would probably look like a deer in headlights.  

It has been an awesome way to stay in touch with my friends who moved abroad. It’s almost as if they have never left. It’s a great way to see different sunsets in different parts of the world by simply using a hash tag. I’m actually quite excited to see where it goes and how it will develop in the future. Technology in itself is also just amazing. No more Saturday mornings in loooong queues at the bank. Now we can simply do everything in a matter of seconds by using our fingertips. You are now able to do so much and save a lot of time in the day to do MORE things.
With the use of technology, we do not have to build brick ovens to cook, we do not have to ride to destinations by horse and/or carriage and more donkeys can chill-out after years of physical labour.



It’s become easy to waste time while there is nothing “productive” to do by browsing around on my computer or phone. Most of the time I go online, read the news or do some research and work. I don't always physically have to go out and see what's happening.

However, it had me thinking the other day.

Thanks to Eskom and the poor battery life of my phone, I have had to find other ways of keeping myself busy during load shedding. This had me wondering... what would the world come to if Social Media and Technology didn't exist anymore?


These days (and this can be taken up in a positive, but also negative way) technology has yes, simplified our lives and have (see it how you want) taken away the personal touch of... well… everything. 
These days, we will rather Google something we don’t know before we even try to figure it out for ourselves. Yes it’s a positive, but it is also a negative. Will we eventually become so lazy that Google will be thinking for us, if it hasn’t already?




I’m probably offending a few people right now, but what I want to achieve by this post is try to remind all of us (including myself) of what the extra mile can mean once in a while. Like it was done in the good old days.

I remember receiving birthday party invitations in the post box or having it personally delivered by a friend while parents waited in the car. It was never a long visit; it literally was “Hi, you’re invited to my party. Bye” and then they drove off to the next house. These invitations were the ones with funky pictures in different themes and all you had to do was write in your guests name and where the party would be held. I remember the frustration of having to rewrite a few over because I made spelling mistakes and wanted it to look absolutely perfect. I also remember making and receiving handmade invitations.



I remember when balloons were landmarks for where the party was. Now, we follow an icon or digital voice on a digital map to the destination (and then your battery dies OR you run out of data). I remember being a passenger and having to rotate a map thousands of times in one trip to make sure we were travelling in the right direction.


I remember the days before cellphones and looking forward to a phone call on the land line, especially if it was a call from someone you had a little crush on and having to disguise your shaky voice. This became an art every time.
I also remember being prank called and having to roar like a Lion because I was told I’d win a hamper. I remember having to ask for a time slot so that I could talk to friends while occupying the study for an entire hour and the fear of the land line ringing when you got into trouble at school. 



These days we send birthday or event invitations via Facebook or email which have now been considered as spam so not everyone replies, knows about it or even receives them. 
The amount of likes and comments on your special day has now determined whether or not you are special. It has become a rating system, it now defines your popularity and yes, you even feel a little offended when no one “likes” your stuff.
BACKGROUND IMAGE: http://partydecordesigning.com/238/backyard-birthday-party-decoration/backyard-birthday-party-centerpieces-decoration/

It has become easier to be less personal when wishing someone on their birthday. What happened to preparing tea, beers and cake for your birthday just in case friends rock up? Not that we need many reasons to become festive, but now you can simply click on a wall, congratulate and move on swiftly with your day. The job has been done. The wish has been made and you might see each other later for drinks if technology or social media doesn't occupy your time by then.
 In the same way we have been able to distinguish real friends from the not so real and you also notice who become sucked into an uncontrollable world of technology.

The only way I can close off is to remind us, that sometimes, once in a while, we all need to take a step back and take a little notice of the physical world around us. Use social media and technology because it is awesome, we can’t deny that… but…
Prioritize.
Value the people in your life.
Become personal.
and
Don’t forget to live a little. 

Claudia Jones

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