Fundamentally, I’ve always had an issue with the idea that Mark Zuckerberg (as portrayed in The Social Network) could go on to create a platform synonymous with the phrase. It seems like a sinister way of getting back at the “cool kids” to me. A game where your ally is secretly an enemy; a place where all popularity is “make believe”; and a place where the only way to have true, meaningful relationships, is to sit the game out. Needless to say, I’ve been halfheartedly playing myself, but my frustration stems from feeling like I don’t have a choice.
Despite my deepest thoughts about it all, it’s sadly, the only way to “keep up” these days. Which got me thinking…what am I keeping up with? What if my non-web version of meaningful interaction flies in the face of someone else’s? I get the ease of it all, but maybe there’s a category of folks that find meaning through their posts. There has to be…right? IDK. Surely. Either way, I hope I grow old to find these apps referred to as the anti-social networks. Truth be told, that’s what they are.
Weather good or evil, “social” media is a hyper-reality. A mega cash producing, hyper-reality…and since cash caters to consumption, best believe, every update is designed to leave you wanting more. If you want to test my conclusions, try deleting your apps and compare your web based functionality to that which you are use to. Emphasizing those losses, expect the rate at which these sites respond to your selections to take a nose dive like no other. Hell, some of these newer “networks” don’t even have a web version. They are designed for consumption, the kind that starts to consume you. As with all things, there’s a tipping point that’s against the human condition. We are designed to produce, consume sparingly, but mass produce. In addition, our habitual nature begins to take over, pulling us further and further away from our purpose.
Our purpose in life, regardless of your story, is to discover the meaning of it all. I know that seems ambiguous, but that’s kind of the point. The discovery process requires concentrated effort. Your role, in this thing we call life, is unique. Even if you cringe at the word passion, your life still has a purpose. Whether or not you take the time to uncover it is entirely up to you. However — I can promise you — peace, joy, and yes, even PASSION, will elude you until you take the time. These things do not fall into your lap. And those people you’re envying/judging through the cell phone screen — are not real. NONE OF IT IS REAL PEOPLE. You MUST learn to differentiate between the two, take a step back, and re-discover how to have meaningful relationships — with God, the universe, yourself, and if your fortunate enough to cross paths with someone else doing the same, another. As our Assistant Pastor recently stated, you can’t have quality time without quantity time. My hope for us all, is that we learn to prioritize quantity time for the people and things that truly matter.
Cheers to the ultimate social-light.