Dear generation Y,
A lot has happened in the last few years and I can see that the world is changing. We have grown up with technology, social networks, and the reality that globalization is making the world more interconnected than ever before. Whether we like it or not, we have entered the social network matrix, and its going to be hard to get out.
The pressure and watchful gaze is on, from family, friends and ‘chosen to be seen as anonymous’ profile views on Linkedin. Our every move is being scrutinsed. What are we studying? Where are we living? Are we in a relationship? To the perhaps, more sinister and less verbal questions… have we gained weight? Have we broken up with someone…
The saddening reality is that we are internalizing these questions. These questions are staying with us for the remainder of the day, long after we have closed our laptop lids.
The internet is wonderful yet we must remember that it is an ungovernable force with words that are written in ink. Our minds are indeed very similar to the structure of the internet. We are asking ourselves these questions. And we don’t like the answers.
Social networks are evolving into a means of presenting the life we want others to see. One that looks pleasant. A profile that looks athestically pleasing to our frenemies, aquantancies, employers and potential suitors. But presenting the perfect version of ourselves is both unrealistic and unattainable.
Couple this with Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc etc… and it begs the question- are we actually living our life anymore, or just recording it to make it look pretty to someone else? Its becoming hard to tell.
Viral videos such as ‘Look- up’ are helping awaken people from the social media comatose, but ironically…only through social media. And once these viral videos have passed… then what? We go back to how we were. Unchanged.
We are no longer satisfied with who we are anymore, but how we compare to other people. Something feels deeply wrong here.
This process of cropping, filtering and editing our lives is simply exhausting. Presenting ourselves as successful, popular, loved and beautiful. Arent we tired of this? We all want to hear our voices heard and feel valued. As a politics undergraduate, I voice my concerns a great deal about political issues and things that trouble me about the world. I feel frustrated. I want people to hear and see what I see, so they can help change things too.
So, Generation Y and beyond, what are we going to do? We need to change something. We need to inform generations after us that the world is more than this. We need to log out of Facebook. Talk to people in person and on the phone. Hang out with family. Read a book.
Its time to realize that the internet is a liberating force, but also a dangerous one if you allow yourself to be trapped in a glamorized and damaging alternative to your own life.
Its your life. You don’t have to have everything figured out yet. You don’t have to justify your actions to anyone.
It’s your life, SO LIVE IT and leave out the filter.
And on that note, I’m logging off.