So I stumbled across a video of Simon Sinek, a British-born motivation speaker, and his thoughts on the social media impact on ‘Millennials’ – that being the generation born roughly after 1984. Ironically I had the video playing in the background whilst aimlessly scrolling through Instagram but that’s beside the point. Anyways as he was talking, slowly I found myself being more engaged with his speech; even going back on points where I needed further clarity. I was very much the ‘Millennial’ that he spoke about in his videos; ‘entitled’, ‘self-interested’ and a whole range of adjectives I wouldn’t care to list. The section of the vid which really interested me though was his views on how the internet and social media has taken over our lives. Honestly, it’s something I thought about for a while now but hearing someone clarify my suspicions was both reassuring and quite alarming.
I was very late in jumping on the social media bandwagon if I’m honest, wasn’t until the middle of first year university I bulked under pressure and moonwalked into temptation. Almost immediately I realised it was all a popularity contest in a virtual world. It wasn’t about socialising with people, it was about how big your friend list was and who could get the most likes for a post. It wasn’t about reconnecting with old acquaintances, it was about being tagged in pictures so people who didn’t even like you knew you were having fun. Back in the day I had a million and nine photos of me grinning from ear-to-ear besides people I didn’t even rate just so I had something to upload. Now I’m just out here waiting for Gary Neville to do the analysis on how exactly things got so sad.
And we’ve gotta have a brief mention about this meme culture right? I used to see pictures with a totally unrelated quote next to it and swore it changed my life… I knew full well the quotes were probably made-up or taken out of context but I still wanted to show the world how philosophical I was. I also remember when used to get into arguments over retweets and ‘indirects’ too. For all those who haven’t caught up with the lingo, an ‘indirect’ is when you chat sh*t about someone without mentioning that person directly within your insults; even though every man and his dog knows who you’re referring to in the first place. We’ve been nurtured as a generation of people who would rather throw insults behind a screen than tackle the issue face on. How many arguments have you had over instant messenger where angry emojis and words in caps littered the convo, yet when in fact you resolve the issue in person, the exchange isn’t half as dramatic…
The internet is the only place some of these guys can be heard cos’ in reality, they’re getting the teas in at work and being reminded to bring back the change. They got that alpha male persona with the online subscription so they’re building a virtual personality to escape their insecurities. No Snapchat filter can save your sh*t trim neither, now you gotta take selfies with a cap on so your followers don’t clock on. And don’t get me started with these newly mum’s neither, parading their kids online to whoever cares to view. I’ve probably seen their kids more often than their own fathers, I’m starting to think I’m overdue on childcare payments. Trust me though, being plugged in 24/7 is the quickest way of being lost in the Matrix. You didn’t come this far in life to be fighting against these Virtual Agents, just exit the browser and collect the teas with some enthusiasm bro. You can lie to your 17 followers about the perception of your life but the one person you can’t lie to is yourself.