I’ve been thinking a lot about my generation’s habits of online sharing. Those g-dang millennials, am I right? Does anyone actually care about the minutia of our daily lives that we can’t seem to resist sharing online? I’m going to guess that’s a big, fat “N-O.” Really there are a few people I wish would share more (because they’re thought leaders, fashion experts, or creative geniuses that I’d like to learn from slash imitate slash just be in general) and there are many, many more people I wish would share less (read: nothing at all, actually).
I’m thinking mostly about “stories.” The kind Snapchat originated, and Instagram responded to by saying, “Anything you can do, I can do better.” RIP Snapchat.
I started pondering these habits because I’m determined to “Live My Best Life 2017.” I started taking vitamins, drinking less coffee (and alcohol), waking up earlier, wearing zero makeup, and running (for exercise, not for fun) more than I’d like to admit. That’s not me trying to brag, but this ever-illusive “balance” that all self-help books aim to sell finally feels tangible. Who knew it was even real?!
On my #wellnessjourney of 2017, one of my goals is to disconnect — mostly from my phone, but also toxic people — because something needs to go if I want to make room for creative personal projects (i.e. writing regularly for this blog, developing websites for funsies, and reading for pleasure!). Maybe this is maturity in the making, but in the past six months social media “stories” have gone from something fun and almost expected to a petty nuisance.
I realize now that there were certain situations where I almost always pulled out my phone to post something. i.e. I was with friends, I was eating avocado toast, I saw a sunset. These are not uncommon to see from my peers either. What are we all trying to prove to each other?
Where does this need to publicly display everything online from our brunch to our boyfriends come from? Is there no longer value in enjoying an experience in private? Because what is something if not shared, right?
There’s an argument that shared online experiences give us a sense of connection or forms bonds, just as shared experiences in real life do — but I have a suspicion that “stories” and Snapchats have less to do with sharing an experience (although sometimes that might be the case) and more to do with seeking validation.
I’m starting to think there’s more freedom in abstaining from sharing life’s adventures on any app because then I know it’s my memory to have, untarnished by social media, and that I did it just for myself.
And as the wise Charlotte York once said…