What Chu Know Bout Dat Full Exposure Life?
Have you ever tried to label certain days of the week as specific categories? I.e. how I try to make Wednesdays "Advice Wednesdays" or Thursdays "OOTD Thursdays"? It's not easy, y'all. Especially when your resting brain never actually rests - it takes seconds-long power naps before it's back at it, going 100MPH. So, with that out of the way, I have a soapbox I want to stand on today. It's something that has sat dormant in the deepest depths of my mind for a while now, and was awoken with a vengeance this week when my sister sent me a particular article. You should know going into this that I love Amy Poehler - this is not about her, just about how what she was stated saying in this piece represents a bigger idea that I am NOT COOL with.
The article my sister sent me was "Amy Poehler Hates Selfies, Says They're 'Out of Control.'" In it, Amy says:
"The idea of, 'This is my face and everyone needs to see it all the time,' is so far from the privacy that people used to seek."
She also goes on to hate on picture-taking friends:
"If I'm hanging out with a friend, and they take a picture of me, it's like 'Ugh.' I mean, I hate looking at pictures of myself. It immediately takes me out of the experience."
Now, I'm no fool. Mama didn't raise none of that. I understand that Ms. Poehler is most very likely referring directly to the types of selfies and picture-ruining moments we all hate so much, but regardless, reading this small blurb sent me reeling and I realized I have something bigger to say about it.
I am so tired of people (typically of an older generation, but not always) bad-mouthing millennials and their habitual over sharing. I know it's not like it used to be. I know everyone is obsessed with their iPhones. I know if we're not on Facebook, we're on Instagram, and if we're not on Instagram, we're on Twitter. And I know how annoying all this might be through the eyes of someone who doesn't "get it."
But allow me to defend: this is the world now, guys. We live in a time and place where over exposing your entire life is the norm. Where your phone being attached to your hip and constantly serving as your right or left hand isn't a joke - it's a fact. Changing out your profile picture every week is barely blinked at anymore. Posting up to 4-5 times a day on Instagram is typical. Checking into dining establishments or places of the like to let anyone and everyone who follows you know where you currently are and what you're doing at that exact moment in time is expected. The world has become a completely exposed place via social media, and there's really no escaping it. In fact, not only does it have no chance of retrograde, it's probably going to get even worse.
And there are still those who refuse to be on Facebook. Those who still don't really know what Instagram is nor ever care to. And if these actions float their boats and they're that hellbent on staying disconnected and out of the social media loop, that's their thing (even though it's weird as fuh).
But the rest of us are very much apart of that world. I mean what do you expect when masterminds develop these incredibly sexy apps that make us want nothing more than to share every and anything with the world! First, there was Facebook. Then, there was Twitter. Then, OMG - there was Instagram. Who knows what's next? Google+ still hasn't waved the white flag, and have y'all heard of this new Circle app that is run by your peers within the community to update you on what's going on in your town, like, RIGHT NOW?
Being "plugged in" and constantly "sharing" is an unstoppable force. It's familiar, commonplace behavior. Expected, really. In a time where landline phones have become obsolete, and you can send quick emails in the form of text to whoever you want in a matter of milliseconds, all other forms of communication seem lost, antiquated even. And yeah, sure - how things have changed is "sad." And it's "weird" how different the world is today. Our cell phones used to only function for calls. Then we got texting. Then our minds exploded when OMG - A CAMERA, TOO!? I understand how shocking it might be to witness how exposed everyone has become and how, the more exposed you are, the more "open" and "interesting" you appear. This over exposure may appear "dangerous" to those who don't understand it or "over the top." It makes me think of that question from the scene in Rushmore:
"Nihil Sanctisne?, Is nothing sacred?"
But of course there's always sacred things you keep for yourself. Even the most exposed social media guru doesn't tell ALL. But it's so easy to succumb to this environment in which sharing is urged and supported. So that entire argument of "taking a picture in the moment takes you out of the moment" is complete and total bullshit to me. What do you think photographers do? They capture otherwise unaccessible moments on film and share them with us and, by doing so, somehow transport us to that moment. We can hear the beat of the club music bumping while models walk that runway. We can close our eyes and imagine how peaceful it must have felt to stand in the middle of that tall grass in that enormous field and listen to nature buzzing around us. Seeing isn't believing, but it most definitely amps up the experience that much more.
If I didn't have my iPhone camera or Canon powershot on my person at all times and missed what I consider photo opportunities, my world wouldn't crumble. It wouldn't be as though I wasn't there. It's not proof that it happened. But the thing is - my iPhone IS on me at all times. And I DO have every opportunity to capture what I consider special moments. Locking that picture into my phone, knowing it's there and that I can frame it or share it or just scroll to it one day and be transported back to that time is why I take it.
I want to share.
I want to expose.
I want you to see what I'm up to as much as I want to see what you're up to.
We're already disconnected enough - why rub salt in the wound?
Again, I know there are people who abuse this. The ones who literally only posts selfies on Instagram (selfies of duck face, or flexed muscles, or halfway-exposed breasts). The ones who use Facebook as a diary of sorts, making status updates into small novellas or, worse, writing obscure and ambiguous status updates that beg for attention and questioning. The ones who have no online etiquette in general on all sorts of levels. But for the majority of us who have an idea or two about how online exposure works, I feel we're doing it right and that this entire debate on "things not being like they used to be" is tired. And old. And has no place in the ring anymore. Hang up those gloves, Mr. Other Side of the Fence. It's time.
Okay, jumping off my "soapbox" now.