By Sarah Gill
People don’t meet like they used to; catching eyes across a crowded room, being asked to dance and potentially even ‘go steady’ with someone. Nowadays, we extraordinarily happen to just bump into each other after positively scouring Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook. BOOM! According to SnapMaps, she was in the pub three minutes ago listening to music and … let me just check Spotify … she’s listening to Dua Lipa. Haha, I’m not a stalker I just have all the tools and equipment to locate and assume a person’s entire existence at my fingertips. As I said, I’ve got my i on you. iPhone, iPad, iPod, iPotentiallyHaveDevelopedAnAddictionToSocialMedia.
Let’s not pretend we’re not all guilty of it. Flicking through Instagram stories and stopping to try to find out where they possibly went to source such a beautifully presented brunch (usually avocado, smoked salmon and a poached egg). And if you don’t aspire just a little bit to someday be as cute as your bitmoji then you’re lying to yourself and making me feel a tad embarrassed.
There’s no such thing as ‘stranger danger’ anymore. If a girl in France continually likes all your Instagram photos, she is just so nice and there is positively not a chance that she could be a balding middle–aged catfish. Try explaining your social media consumption to one of your grandparents and you’ll soon realise how weird our generation really are. We all double tap those pictures saying how ridiculous young people are that they’re always on their god–damn phones, but the irony is almost palpable. You’re probably reading this on your god–damn phone. There’s also a good chance that after you finish reading this (excellent) article, you’ll swiftly move to Facebook or Twitter to resume scrolling. We’re a very self–aware generation; we know what we’re doing, but once we step out of that blue/grey light a laptop or phone screen casts upon us, we’re out of our depth, we become bored. The horror!
Once you pluck up the courage to take out your earphones and try to engage with the people around you, you realise how homogenised people have become. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we’re using our trusty phones as a crutch to socialising. Groundbreaking stuff, I know. I realise we’re able to exist without our phones and we do so at work, when we’re reading a book, chatting, watching TV and… sleeping. But when your phone dies, you start, in the words of Kylie Jenner, realising stuff.
And don’t even bother pretending you’ve never been in the position where you accidentally know everything about someone’s holiday. Hope you had fun in Mallorca, I loved your #OOTD on day two of your get-away. Hope your aunt Carol is feeling better and I absolutely love your dog more than I love life itself.
But it’s not all bad. A lot of the time, while we’re looked on as “scrolling”, we’re actually reading worthwhile articles and educating ourselves. Twitter and Facebook especially are filled with honest and enlightening features which help to broaden our minds. Instagram is filled with empowering, motivating and talented people to inspire us. It’s not just mindless scrolling. And memes were handed down to us by God himself, so they’re a definite plus.