default article image

Social Networking at its Finest

Our generation has never taken a moment to breathe. Mornings are spent sifting through e-mails, text messages, news alerts, and Facebook and Twitter notifications all before our first cup of coffee. Afternoons are spent gossiping about the morning’s “he said, she said” until the next OMG moment. We let that simmer until the evening, where countless uploads and sloppy text messages foster tomorrow’s conversations.

This theory of interconnectedness since birth has forcibly caused us to tie the knot with our devices – and it’s until death do we part from our attention-seeking and self-absorbed ways.

And for what purpose? These outlets are driven more towards achieving personal vendettas than doing something without recognition.

We are obsessed with spewing every aspect of our lives onto the mainstream, looking for attention and recognition, for something, from someone. Anything. Who can blame you? It’s trendy.

That is why I decided to deviate from all of that useless information about global politics in my weekly column and discuss something that’s relatable to the University: ourselves. What better way to do that than some quick tips on how to make yourself memorable to your immediate social network.

1. First off, don’t ever think about reading, let alone posting, something with substance. You’ll lose any credibility you built up through your tantrums.

2. Do post your life in 140 characters. Everyone cares. If you do not update within a two hour period, people might think that you’re not doing something.

3. Do not think about doing something worthwhile with your time. If it does not involve excessive amounts of sleeping, drinking, eating or complaining, there’s a good chance no one wants to hear about it.

4. Do make sure you allocate sufficient time towards featuring your life for others in an easy and accessible manner. Hashtags and mentions are necessary, retweets are your bonus: RT “So tired from pulling that all-nighter. Still got no work done. @[insert obnoxious user name here] Now off to #Cabo for Spring Break with my besties! Kissez betches xoxoxoxoxoxoxo.”

5. And always look to outshine everyone on your social networking sites. Nothing says pathetic like stalking your friend’s photos on a Friday night without staging better pictures the night before.

So when does it stop? For one thing, it doesn’t stop in college. Our world has never been closer, or further out of our reach.

Think back to the KONY 2012 movement that erupted overnight last month.

Child soldiers, victimized citizens. Boom. Retweet. I am a social activist.

We complained about other travesties instead of dwelling on our own. Progress. Finally.

A public screening of “Kony 2012” was met with anger in Uganda. The Washington Post suggested that the frustration likely stemmed from the lack of Joseph Kony’s presence in Uganda. Perhaps the phenomena and hype behind the KONY 2012 campaign should have been refocused towards a more timely issue.

The Post also reported that over 3,000 children are experiencing seizure-like episodes after eating. These seizures in turn have prompted children to avoid food, furthering their undernourishment.

A greater understanding of Uganda and its real needs could be addressed if social media users redirected their attention away from the glorified hype.

To this I offer a quote from T.S. Eliot: “If we all were judged according to the consequences of all our words and deeds, beyond the intention and beyond our limited understanding of ourselves and others, we should all be condemned.”

A key component of being a global citizen is offering compassion and an understanding of different cultures. Drawing rash assumptions based off of America’s agenda is Eliot’s example of limited understanding.

Who am I to set the agenda of another person, let alone another country? Your needs, as well as theirs, are unknown. To suggest that I know everything about people through their behavior with social media outlets is foolish.

I offer you this token in my final column: You will find more respect trying to understand the needs of people through their way of life rather than assuming the needs of masses through your own.