On Social Media and Patience

I’ve been thinking about this silly trend on the beloved World Wide Web. Among its many perplexities to be discussed (Ie. trolling, plagiarism, pornography, stalking, cyberbullies, dubious ‘political conversations,’ proliferation of viral Youtube, constant reiteration of memes and more), I’ve chosen one of the most popular for Gen X: posting of song lyrics and/or hyperlinks for music videos on social media.

Giant Disclaimer: I have done this many times.

Imagine a dreary-eyed night in which you’ve put off some menial work to attend to, interrupted by absent-minded scrolling down your fluorescent screen which displays all the things your whole ‘friend’ list has deemed sufficiently important to share from their lives, (“Just had the BEST DINNER EVER WITH THE BABE AT [insert ritzy restaurant]” / “THREE MORE WEEKS TIL MY BIG VACAY”/ “FOURTH DAY OF THIS LIFE CHANGING DIET, Y’ALL”) amid reactions to the latest ‘happening’ TV show and ‘likes’ of mediocre products such as Diet Coke/ photos of meals, etc etc. This all being unenthusing enough prior to someone’s quotes surrounding lyrics, just an artless mix of words accompanying an embedded Youtube video.

A familiar scene, no?

The thought process behind a post like this probably goes something like, “I am having a visceral moment with this beat/ string of words/ other human’s voice and the realness of it is too much to withstand on my own… better ease that loneliness by sharing it” [scrambles way to keyboard].

Of course, the problem with this phenomenon is that we often don’t care to take the time to listen to the song; after all, experiencing music can be an incredibly personal event specific to what we are going through at the time, not to mention our unique prized taste in music, and so on. Without the music and the subtleties of listening, the quote just looks like a sort of desperate attempt to connect with and/or stand out to all our indifferent, self-absorbed peers. Basically, goal unfulfilled.

Another facet of this situation is the fact that many of us are individuals who deeply appreciate music but are unfortunately, uhh, without musical talent. Ideally we would start a band and finally share our secret reservoir of creativity, but that’s not always the most viable outlet. Therefore, our options consist of spending our limited funds on concert-going and drunkenly though passionately jamming out in a sweaty audience of half-conscious strangers or consistently professing our love for this and that artist to uninterested friends and family. Hence the social media. As we all know, however, interaction on these platforms can rarely yield much more than the sometimes disappointing interactions of real life. Yes, it opens doors to learn much more about each other and our world, but does that necessarily change our attitudes toward either of these things?  

While social media continues to remain this confusing periphery of our lives, providing a foggy window into all of life’s unknowns, we can always work on compassion towards others, despite their banal updates and insistent pleas for more attention, and maybe sometimes even jam out to a Youtube video someone has posted.

In summary, live and let live. Or just avoid the internet.

But really, all of this was just a justification for me to do this:

"TO PHOTO/ TO RECORD MEAT LUMPS AND WAR"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3fTw_D3l10

Also, does anyone want to start a band??

-Maddy Hughes  

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