How social media has changed us: the good, the bad and the selfie
It’s hard to believe that just ten years ago social media was nothing more than an inspiring thought and a budding trend at best. Sure there was Myspace and whilst it managed to establish a decent enough following, the world as a whole was not convinced.
Fast forward a few years to the arrival of Facebook. I can still remember the day a friend set me up with my own account promising the new online portal to be lifechanging. It was 2010 at the time and while Facebook was gaining popularity and numbers I was just in the early stages of The Socialite.
Truth be told, I wasn’t quite convinced having an online presence was all that necessary. I signed up nonetheless and little did I know that social media would go on to become part of my daily routine and the cornerstone to my business all these years later.
These days I go about life having a phone that never reaches anything past 13% in battery life and at any given time of day I am connected in some way or form to at least one social media platform.
When it comes to the world of social media there are more than just a few Dos and Don’ts and more often than not people get lost in translation. My advice to you? Treat the internet the same way you would be treated when you’re placed under arrest. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Also, whilst many of you are well aware to not call someone up at 2am, the rules are not then exempt for Facebook messages.
I do however strive for the perfect balance between work and personal content where I find that many people need a gentle reminder to not get so trigger happy with the post button. Gone are the days when Facebook was a quiet, calming place for online gatherings and realworld friends. Now it’s a haven for political rants by local arm-chair critics, viral videos and weekly invites to play Candy Crush.
And then you get those that post inexplicably-public private messages and the status loving people bragging about their fabulous life. You know the kind of person who snaps their kid going off to their first day of school standing casually waving in the driveway while their Audi Q5 is strategically the main focus. Suzelle has her DIY videos, Carte Blanche has Sundays and this person has Facebook.
Perhaps it just makes us appreciate the other end of the scale and those that are a little less vocal. Silent even. The kind of people that you know are just there but they never say or do anything. Every Whatsapp Group chat has one.
My all time favourite has to be the term I came across recently which is “vaguebooking” instead of Facebooking. The kind of people who post intentionally vague status updates that prompts their friends to spring into action and ask what’s going on. You may recognise it with a status like “Wondering if it’s all worth it...” or “So that just happened. This is officially the worst day ever...”
Another new Facebook favourite is the Out-ofnowhere Oscar Acceptance Speech which is a massive, over-indulgent outpouring of love and flowery gratitude for absolutely no bloody reason. Call me sceptical but I highly doubt you genuinely feel love for all 842 of your Facebook friends.
Still after all that is said and done, I still don’t walk away feeling like social media is the root of all evil. It has enabled me to stay connected with my loved ones whilst away, Throwback Thursdays have proven to produce pure internet gold and it’s a great way to pass the time when you’re 5 minutes early for an appointment. I would know absolutely nothing about this last point but I’ve heard rumours...
I have decided to limit my time online going forward to really appreciate the little moments in life as they unfold in real-time. So I urge you to put your phone down at least once in the day and look around you. The world is a truly beautiful place. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop once in a while, you could miss it.” Twitter / Facebook / Instagram: @thesocialitesa www.thesocialite.co.za