A life less posted

I wonder what it would be like if my wife and I did our backpacking trip now, almost a decade later. I imagine that I’d spend most of my time either taking photos with my phone, or hunting for free wifi with my phone. Because if you don’t post photos of what you’re doing, it didn’t really happen, right?

In a sense I’m glad we did our big Europe trip before social networks existed. We checked our email maybe once in every city — if we could find an Internet cafe. For the most part we were on our own. Just one couple amongst a sea of tourists. There was nothing different about the bottle of wine we had in that one Italian restaurant. Except that it was our bottle of wine, and we shared it just with each other. Not with anyone else. It was a whole month of secret moments in public, and we were just… there. We didn’t check in on Foursquare, we didn’t talk about it on Facebook, we didn’t post any photos anywhere. I now look back and appreciate the incredible freedom we had to live before we all got online and got this idea that the value of a moment is directly proportional to the number of likes it receives.

via A life less posted.

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6 thoughts on “A life less posted

  1. As a person who is active on many forums and blogs aside from Facebook I think pictures are more important than the stories sometimes. If I post about something that I bought or a place that I went most people will flat out say pics or it didn’t happen. It’s almost a requirement now. I think part of the reason for that is because it is the internet and a lot of people don’t trust each other. It reminds me of that saying on the internet no one knows your a dog. When I’m on forums I assume everyone I’m talking to is a potentially crazy 40 year old man until proven otherwise. Pictures make people feel at ease. It also gives them the feel that they were there with you much like before the explosion of social media people would take pictures and put them in a scrapbook or binder to share with family or friends. Now-a-days social media is the scrapbook.

  2. I also wonder what life today for me as a college student would be like without social media. I think as of right now high school and college age students spend to much of their lives invested in Facebook or Twitter. What was the world like before everything we did was posted? In the future will our kids be subjected to having everything they do shared with the world (through social media)? Will they ever actually feel privacy? And, even they did not wish to participate in social media, I believe they will still be apart of it somehow or pressured by their peers to be apart of it. This plays back into the idea of whether Facebook is a panoptician or not. Is Facebook changing how we act socially and if we are really being ourselves? Should social media control our lives this much, and does this play into our freedom of being an individual? I’m not sure, but I think this will start to become much more apparent in the coming years.

  3. About two years ago I went on a backpacking trip across Europe with two of my cousins. During the beginning, we all had our phones, and a single laptop, but as time went on, we started to update less and less. Eventually my camera broke, my cousin lost his phone, and the laptop that we brought broke. This was probably the best time we had. We didn’t have to worry about updating our family on the progress we’ve made, and we didn’t need the internet. I think that social media bring about an entirely new burden on people, because everyone sees everything about your life, and you want to seem interesting to the people you communicate with. Hopefully this trend dies down in the next couple of years.

  4. I feel like we are headed into a time where things will become less personal. More formatted and shallow. However, pictures of a trip, or conversing with a friend about a trip gives the experience context. It gives the trip some body, some visual feature that might stimulate conversation with another person. This external stimulus has already become one of the key points for social networking. Social networks feed on this fact to draw people in a get them hooked to things like Facebook or online gaming. The social connection through technology gives an extra layer of interaction that can’t be achieved through other means. To completely abolish it doesn’t seem to be the answer, but limits might not be a bad idea. As things stand, I think we’re still learning a lot about how the interactions and time spent on the Internet affects people in the long term. We’ll see how things play out and if it is really a bad thing for people to stay connected so much.

  5. I enjoyed reading this piece, because I am completely in agreement. It can be sad to see people who are in the same physical space with each other, but choose to spend their time together in their own socially-mediated space. Why is it that we feel compelled to share everything we do in real-life online, but don’t feel we can keep some of the more intimate moments between us and the person we are sharing a moment with? Instead of taking the time to introduce ourselves to someone new or strengthening our interpersonal skills we resort to checking our Twitter feeds or out Facebook news feeds while we are out in public? I took a class through the Telecommunications department, and my professor brought up this idea of living together, alone. We share in everyone else’s physical space, but we enclose ourselves within the sphere of our online social community.

  6. I agree with everything that this guy has to say. I was huge in Facebook in high school, but as the years have gone on, i’m getting more and more tired of having to read what everybody eats for dinner or how well they did on their midterms. I feel as if Facebook is getting to the point where it is almost impossible for anything in your life to be private, which is exactly what this guy is hinting at. I also feel like since I am living in this age of technology, although i do love it, forces me to use Facebook because I could honestly not imagine myself living without looking at another status update. I don’t really have a preference as to what happens to facebook, but whatever it is it will sure be interesting to find out.

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