Instagram Killed The Radio Star

I've got a little question for you all to ponder on this week; has social media changed things up for the better, the worst or has it simply just changed? No real positives or negatives just- you know- made things... different? I mean we know it's vastly become a life changer but what I want to know is, is it a life SAVER? The reason I'm asking this is I guess because lately I've been questioning it. Simple. There's no denying the the teen life I led 10 years ago... eww I know- when Myspace was revolutionary and Facebook was just a gleamer in Mark Zuckerberg's dorm room- is vastly different to teens lives right now. It doesn't take a genius to work out it's largely down to social media and the pivotal part it now plays in most millennials lives whether they choose to accept that fact or not. Our priorities have changed. The way we think, behave and make every day decisions is different and I can't decide if it's a good thing or the horrible byproduct of our growing reliance on social media.

First and foremost I don't agree with social media snobbery. Look down your nose at it all you want and claim you barely check your Facebook, that's fine and I totally believe you but don't belittle the powers that be. Social media is influential, fact. As a so called "influencer" (urgh forget I ever said that, I hate that term more than small talk and invasion of my personal space... God, I'm SO millennial) it probably feels like a no-brainer that I'd tell you that right? I mean, go back 10 years ago and did the job title "influencer" even exist? No it didn't so I guess that's proof in the pudding that, yes we are in fact highly lead by what we are exposed to on social media right? But it's not just people such as myself who are to blame for the decisions we all make, the things we think we like, want and need. Collectively we're all influencing and more positively encouraging one anther. Take the last UK election... 43% MORE 18-24 voted than the previous 2015 election, that's amazing!! But do you really believe social media DIDN'T have a part to play in that (Well that and Brexit)?! We now have a more acute awareness to what's going on around us politically, economically and socially because we're exposed to it constantly and if you can't form an opinion just go on Twitter and there's a million people who will gladly form it for you. Again whether that's a good thing or a a bad thing I really can't say. And its not just politics, it's the little things like films we watch, books we read and TV shows we obsess over... Love Island (no I didn't bloody watch it ok), Game Of Thrones, Strangers Things. Everyone was watching them right? How do we know that? Social media told us so. 
If I'd have asked myself the question "is social media changing things for the better" a few years ago, I'd have given the much more innocent answer of "yes it has because Instagram encourages me to take more photos"... Isn't that a lovely notion? Oh how naive I was... Little did I know I'd actually make a career out of it and it would play such a crucial part in my life. I have so much to thank it for and that blows my mind! But Instagram is more than a livelihood it's what I do when I have a minutes (hours) to spare, it helps inspire me and as someone obsessed with clothes it's DEFINITELY played a massive part in shaping my style. I don't particularly really like to read the news (not with the current state of fairs anyway) and so social media has become my fountain of knowledge. Any breaking reports over the passed few years I ashamedly, most likely saw on my Twitter feed first. Learning Bowie had passed away via Instagram has firmly scarred me for life. 

I asked my boyfriend his thoughts, his pretty indifferent to it all and getting an unbiased view seemed like a good place to start. He uses social media on a moderate level, he's not particular encompassed in it, he could definitely live without it (bar scrolling through pointless video after pointless video on Facebook when he's bored) but he frequents it never the less. He (surprisingly to me) said without hesitation, it's positive. Why? Because "it gives normal, everyday people the opportunity to put themselves out there". He's totally right. One of the biggest factors I love about blogging, personally and as a concept is that it allows "normal" relatable girls to influence like minded "normal" girls. We can encourage our piers in a way which isn't intimidating or unobtainable. We're teaching young girls they can effectively be whoever they want to be, not through fairytales but just through being themselves and working hard. Real women inspiring real women. But I can't help but worry that somewhere along the way that notion has become a little warped and it's hard to distinguish what is exactly is "real" anymore on social media? 
The sad fact of the matter is we've become so obsessed with living the perfect instagrammable lifestyle, we seek it out. Isn't there something a little disingenuous and unnatural about that? Is everything we do for content? Do we do things for the experience now or do we do it for show? Or I am just horribly cynical? I read this piece a while back on how Waterstone's avoided going into administration by making "Instagrammable" book covers... They were classics, Dorian Grey, Jane Eyre, you get my drift... It wasn't some new, exciting idea. It was something existing just made to look prettier. And I kind of feel like that sums up entirely the point I'm getting at here... We're buying things because they look good against our careful choreographed lives not because of the depth of them. The irony in it all is "don't judge a book by it's cover" and we all know this to be true where Instagram is involved. I don't know about you but the amount of times I've sat in on a Friday night and I've been scrolling thinking "oh wow all my friends look like they're having the best time and here I am alone at home"... You feel like utter shit! Only to find out from them in person, the night was a total fail. Panic over, you suddenly have friends again!! Social media is the edited version of our lives but as we continue to live more and more in an Insta-bubble I feel like we're forgetting that vital point along the way.

Social media is inevitably making us unsociable and etiquette has completely turned on its head. There's now social mind-fields situations such as bumping into your Instagram friend in real life and knowing their life story and how their sisters holiday went before you've ever actually even said hello to them... When you break it down, this is madness! And a little creepy right? Don't get me wrong I've made some firm friends via social media but  I can also hold a full discussion about a complete stranger's personal life like they're my oldest and dearest friend when I've never ever met them and as they live on the other side of the world, I never will! We're so engrossed in other peoples lives that we keep belittling our own. Not ok. And it's got to the point now where we're so aware of how captivated we are in each other's business that we actively OVER share. I'm constantly reading things on Instagram/Twitter and thinking "wow did you really need to go there"... It took me years to get into Twitter because I always figured "who cares thought I think",  but now we live by the assumption that EVERYONE cares what you think. I'm a firm believer that the art of privacy is invaluable and that to give away every last aspect of your life is just devaluing it. 
I recently had a "friend" of mine delete me off all social media. I was SO hurt. In one fell sweep I'd gone from being someone's friend to being a complete stranger in their eyes. It's bloody brutal! And as I come from the good old days of you know, actually talking things out like a normal human being I messaged said person asking if everything was ok... Do you know what she did? She never replied. This is a term commonly known as "ghosting"... But seriously? What on earth? That's not normal social behaviour and it's terrifying to think we're being preconditioned to think that the friends and alleys we hold are THAT disposable and THAT replaceable because social media can make them seem that way with a simple click... Plus I'm gutted I'm the type of person who's ghostable... I'M A NICE PERSON GUY PROMISE... A little cranky from time to time but nice all the same.

I really want to make it clear that this isn't another one of those patronising posts urging you to put down your phone and "live life". Not at all because that would be completely hypocritical and condescending of me. This is genuinely just me thinking out loud, questioning recent observations and than putting it on the internet because that's what we do these days... 

Food for thought? Let me know what you think!

Sophia x

1 comment:

  1. I really like your smile, giving confidence and sunshine.