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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

At least for now

I have this fantasy of waking up with a flip phone on my nightstand. Not that I would ever act on this fantasy, but it still makes me smile to think about reclaiming my old Motorola Razr from antiquity.

Unfortunately, the reality is I’d be a mess without the abundance of resources afforded to me via my iPhone. Assets like GPS, FaceTime, curated playlists and messaging services have become indelible parts of my daily routine. But that’s also a problem. Along with useful applications come the not-so-useful-ones — most notably, social media apps. Whether it’s from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, the presence of social media is hefty and rarely positive, and its constant close proximity via my pocket Internet machine presents an issue.

I want to make it clear that I’m not one of those charlatans whose idea of a dystopia involves a crowd of teenagers silently glued to their respective smart-phones. In fact, I find the legion of elders scoffing at the digitally obsessed youngsters as they reminisce about the good ol’ days when “people use to talk to each other” a bit uniformed, not to mention condescending.

Sure, the lack of actual human interaction today is a bit concerning, but that’s just the way of the world. The reality is that the progression of new technology will always present a tradeoff, but the iPhone and all its wonderful features — as well as the pesky ones — are here to stay, at least, until something “better” comes along. Luckily for me, though, I have the millennial’s greatest weapon locked and loaded: the complaint.

What exactly is a Snapstory? What is its purpose? Why do we post Snapstories? Are we creating a living breathing representation of our lives in 2016? Or is everyone just trying to one up each other in an ironic attempt to prove higher levels of “coolness?” My hunch is the later. Every time I brainlessly peruse the ever-updating list of my “friends’” Snapstories, I feel like I’m watching some version of keeping up with the Joneses if the Joneses went to a ton of parties and were all heavy drinkers. Look, I have no problem if you participate in college culture, but why does every one of your contacts need to know you do via poorly shot footage and even worse audio? Better yet, why do I ever look at Snapstories?

While I have this pitiful pulpit, I have to ask, why is Facebook the forum of choice for political manifestos? Nothing screams, “Hey, take me seriously, you guys!” like a post sandwiched between my aunt’s vacation photos and an ad for a pair of shoes I never pulled the trigger on. I get it; in theory, Facebook should be an appropriate place for an educated discussions involving a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. But that’s just not what Facebook has become in practice — it’s now mostly a place for materialism and narcissism. A bit harsh, I know, but in a recent bend bout of self-righteousness, I deleted my iPhone’s Facebook app, only to re-download it when I realized I had forfeited the ability to retrieve information on my peers (spy?) — so please forgive my brashness. Irony sucks.

Regrettably, I don’t see my iPhone going anywhere, at least for now. I will, however, be more wise when it comes to my interactions on social media. That being said, though, make sure to friend, follow and add me on all appropriate formats.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.