It’s no secret that social media has come to be rather important in our lives. We use it for entertainment, to keep up with current events, to judge other people, etc. Whether we like it or not it has become a medium on the basis of which we do tend to make decisions and snap judgments. Since it has become this much of a normality and has come to play a major role in our daily lives, when we now meet people who don’t have social media, we all seem to have a series of thoughts.
Is your phone broken or…?
The first rational thought is that they don’t have access to social media, not that they choose to not participate. Our guards rise instantly, our brains on full alert as we start to investigate this rare species of human that doesn’t use social media.
Hence, we ask, wide-eyed, “Are you taking a break?”
To which they respond, “No, I’m just not on social media.”
We then slowly nod our heads, feigning a deep sense of understanding as we try to then sort out the number of thoughts that follow.
Are you a serial killer?
People put their lives on social media. That’s how we know where you work, what you like and that’s how we remember your birthday. Millennials are stalkers by birth, big surprise.
Now we know nothing about you. Hence, our media driven souls and our brains soaked in information we absorb from TV, come to the conclusion that we are now interacting with a serial killer.
Because why else would one not be on social media? Are they hiding something? Why don’t they want to share their lives on the internet like the rest of us?
Is it because your parents are strict?
There’s always this one strange kid, who isn’t allowed on the internet despite being over 20. Sometimes due to paranoia that is passed on to them from their parents and sometimes due to specific beliefs that they share. Either way, this is probably the better thing to teach your child, but we don’t see it that way. Our minds just cannot comprehend that sometimes people just want to stay off the internet.
So… what do you do in your free time?
We use social media when we have nothing better to do. We go on there to mindlessly scroll through our feeds, specifically built to slowly make us brain dead, learning about the picture perfect lives of others.
So what do they do when they’re commuting or when their waiting for someone? How does that work? Questions flood our brains as we try to keep a straight face and figure out whether we should trust this person.
Wait, maybe you’re just really cool.
Maybe they don’t need the internet because they’re perfectly happy without having to flaunt their lives online. Instantly we start growing a new found respect for this person for not needing validation from a bunch of strangers. Inspired, we consider dropping off the face of the Earth by staying off social media.
“I could do it too,” We then tell ourselves as we hit deactivate button on our social media accounts, only to reactivate them within a few days.
Social media might be important, but maybe we shouldn’t be treating those who aren’t on any as aliens. Let’s lay off and let them live their lives in silence and keep their memories private. We could all use a little time off the internet. It would really be an experience!
Syeda Erum Noor is dangerously oblivious and has no sense of time. Send help at firstname.lastname@example.org