Social media obsession

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A teen absorbed by technology on her birthday. Courtesy of Alana Galloway ’16

 

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 Birthday party? Don’t worry, there’s a Facebook album. Concert? There’s a Vine, and probably an Instagram. Among Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Vine, we have the ability to show everyone, including people we’ve never even talked to, all aspects of our lives.

Do we really have to broadcast photos from every event we attend?  I understand wanting to share photos with your close friends, but do your 1,000 Facebook friends also need to see 50 pictures of your birthday dinner?

I’m completely guilty of this, and I’m sure most of you are too. It’s like we constantly have to prove to the world that we have social lives. We don’t want people to “Facebook stalk” us and think we haven’t had any plans all month.

Furthermore, this social media obsession creates an incessant need for attention. Which new profile picture will get the most comments? What filter will make our Instagram get the most likes? We constantly need to be reassured, via likes and comments, that people are actually paying attention to us.

Facebook has recently changed its privacy setting for teenage users, allowing them to post pictures, status updates, and videos accessible the general public. Prior to this change, teenagers could only share information with “friends” and “friends of friends,” restricting anyone outside of this circle.

According to The New York Times, Nicky Jackson Colaco, Facebook’s manager of privacy and public policy, defended this decision. He argued that many other websites allow teens to share information with the public, and that Facebook should not be any different.

A teen absorbed by technology on her birthday. Courtesy of Alana Galloway '16
A teen absorbed by technology on her birthday.
Courtesy of Alana Galloway ’16

“Across the Web, teens can have a very public voice on those services, and it would be a shame if they could not do that on Facebook,” Colaco said.
Aside from the obvious safety issues with this decision, I just don’t understand the point of this new policy. Why would people want to share anything with the entire Internet population? Sharing every single detail of our lives with every Facebook friend is bad enough, but publicizing these details to people we have never even met is absolutely ridiculous.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t Instagram that cute picture of our friends, or make a Facebook album of what we did over the summer, but I think society is putting way too much time and effort into social media updates. Let’s try to spend more time enjoying the events we go to instead of making sure the world knows what we did Friday night.

-Anna Phillips, Co-Features Editor