How Social Media Is Slowly Diminishing Our Capacity For Empathy
The 60s is remembered for its pubescent insubordination and refreshing upheaval.
This was followed by a decade of debauchery, disco music and the Arab oil embargo.
The 80s stimulated images of exuberance: pinstriped pirates egotistically swallowing up companies like Tic Tacs and pop singers with modernized mullets and parachute pants gyrating on MTV.
Essentially, it was the decade that made us.
The 90s was the era of the Persian Gulf War, the coming of age of Generation-X, the sudden popularity surrounding tattoos, the OJ Simpson case (which inevitably brought about reality TV), AOL, goatees, "Friends," the rise of anti-government militias, the death of Princess Diana, Quentin Tarantino movies and the fear of the Millennium bug.
What has Generation-Y brought to the fore? We can celebrate the decline of humanity.
Social media became our number one priority, and nothing else seemed to matter.
Even those who do good commend themselves through social media, seeking praise for the good deeds they’ve done and the achievements they’ve accomplished.
If you’ve ever seen “Léon: The Professional” (one of my all-time favorites), you may recall Léon as he comments on how pigs are nicer than humans.
He isn’t far off.
We are essentially worse than the sh*t pigs find themselves rummaging in.
We live in an age where nothing seems to matter apart from your appearance and how you portray yourself to the world.
How many Instagram followers do you have? How many likes has your profile picture received?
What company do you work for? How much do you earn?
How many celebrities have you met? Where are the photos to prove it?
The only trophies we seem to care about are the ones on Snapchat.
Who is your "bae?" What "#tbt" did you post?
How many countries have you been to?
Who are you going out with this weekend? Where will your squad be?
You don’t have a degree? Sorry, can you please leave?
Have you been to the gym today? I can’t believe he skipped leg day.
Have you got Kylie Jenner lips? No? You must be ugly.
You don’t own a NutriBullet? Your smoothies are obviously sh*t.
Traditional means of communication are a thing of the past, as we spend the majority of our days glued to our smartphones or laptops, typing away and tagging our friends in pointless articles about pointless bullsh*t.
Conversations have been dwindled down to emojis and trying to decipher whether or not that "K" was in fact okay, or if the person was annoyed with us.
The Internet’s incredible.
Don’t get me wrong; there are numerous benefits to its use.
It has an infinite amount of knowledge to bestow, but I often find myself hating it more than appreciating it.
That’s mainly because the idiots of today have been given an entire medium to proclaim their irrational beliefs and unethical hypotheses.
I often find myself thinking of the "Futurama" meme, the "I don’t want to live on this planet anymore" one.
It pains me how irritable I get when I have to listen to idiotic people around me complain about new iPhone updates, or the people who are in uproar over not being able to see other people's "Best Friends" lists on Snapchat.
I’m sorry, what? Do you guys hear yourselves?
Do you read the news, or do you just not care? Seriously.
Maybe you don't because you’re too busy taking selfies with your selfie sticks or spoons.
As if we couldn’t get any worse as a human race. The death toll from selfie sticks mustn’t have been high enough.
Capitalism is a never-ending road of unconscious subjugation on a global basis.
The Internet has paved the way for these people, and everyone else has had to endure it.
It’s not that our generation is getting stupider, shallower or more naïve.
Those people have always existed, and they always will.
It’s the fact these people have been provided numerous platforms to express these ridiculous ideologies to their fullest potentials.
As technology has advanced, the amount of information we see has therefore increased. Unfortunately, there’s more bullsh*t being shared than information.
Now, people think they know you before they’ve even spoken to you.
That saying, "Don’t judge a book by its cover" has been thrown out the window and tossed in the garbage bin.
Online dating and apps like Tinder and Happn are probably the main reason for this unfortunate turn of events.
I’ve fallen victim to this, as I’m sure millions of other people have, too.
I’ve been told my bio makes me sound like a moron, and I’ve been called a slut because I disagreed with one guy’s point of view.
Sorry, I didn’t realize women weren’t allowed have opinions in the 21st century.
This isn’t even the half of it. I’ve been completely put off dating, and I have no interest in finding "the one."
I believe the term doesn’t really exist anymore because let’s face it: People are too into themselves to start taking an interest in other people's lives.
It’s also easier to swipe left.
I’m not trying to be cynical or pessimistic, but it’s pretty difficult not to be when people who believe Kanye West (Kanye for President?) is a role model surround you, and who believe people like Alan Watts, Che Guevara and Sigmund Freud belong in the past.
Your news feed seems to be bombarded with Kardashian updates every two minutes.
When Lamar Odom’s drug and prostitute addiction landed him in hospital, everyone’s heart bled for him.
I like to call these people bigots because I don’t think they’d feel the same way about Harry the heroin fiend who lives in a cardboard box on the side of the road.
It’s not just Gen-Y who is guilty. Gen-X and Gen-Z are just as reprehensible for this.
We’ve been consumed by the digital and social phenomenon that’s been shoved down our throats since day one.
Long gone are the days of ringing someone’s doorbell or subconsciously humming along to that infamous dial-up tone.
Hand-written letters are a thing of the past, too.
Technology is advancing in more ways than we can write about. The Internet is a world now, and sometimes, we spend so much time there that we often forget to step back into reality.
"Netflix and chill" seems to be an activity, and sitting at a desk is taking over nearly everyone’s lives.
Have we always been this narcissistic, or is it due to the profuse number of ways in which we can boast about ourselves and our lives?
What happened to having an actual camera?
How many times have you been to a gig or a festival and not taken your phone out to record a segment of the show?
I’m nearly sure my friend missed the entire James Bay concert because his Snapchat story was obviously more deserving of the performance.
Do people even read actual books anymore? You know, ones with pages?
I was even trying to think of the opposite term to use for the virtual world. I was thinking of reality, but the virtual world is real.
We live in that very world on a daily basis.
It’s up to us whether we stay in that world or transport ourselves back to the natural and physical one every once in a while.
Maybe then, some people will start to discover who they truly are, not just how they want to be seen.