I must give another whole batch of apologies for not doing as I said and making frequent posts over the past month but I shall give an explanation for why this has been the case and thereby try and get back into the swing of Teenthropologist ways.
The truth is, although I have been very busy getting back into trying to juggle university life with my outside work, I had fallen out with the internet and social media. When I started this blog I thought it would be a great way to offer teenager perspectives on things from an anthropological point of view, and basically just offer some of my insights. I tried to update the blog when I had moments here and there and tried my best to refrain from it becoming a diary of rants or uninteresting ramblings.
Then I was sat at a dinner with a few friends and as is the case with almost all social gatherings these days, the smartphones were on constant sight (generally on the table), holding this invisible distraction – something or the other in those phones was sitting in the back of everyone’s minds. They started to discuss what they had seen on Facebook, Twitter etc, (both which I am part of so didn’t feel left out) but then it suddenly switched to other things that had been read on the internet. I’m not going to turn all snobby and superior but I was absolutely shaken by the naivety through which some of these friends were believing all that they had read. These are University students, and they didn’t once question the reliability of what they had found on Google. I myself regularly look up things on Google and use it an omnipotent information source but I stick to reliable sources and always try and find at least one or more source to back it up, and I have never used random websites for academic essay writing and the like. I tried to explain that what my friend had read was not certainly right, and then found myself in this imaginary contest with a machine, and let’s be honest, the machine of Google is more correct, right? I thought not but then had to back down, defeated by the fact that the art of amicable enriching discussion between friends was clearly being lost.
This was just the tip of the iceberg – I met someone new that night who from Facebook seemed like the outgoing bubbly type, with over 1,000 friends and tonnes of likes, interests and Facebook activity on my friend’s wall but in person was possibly the shyest person I have ever met, unable to muster any kind of two-way conversation.
Where before the internet was one of my favourite things of the 21st Century and without a doubt the technology I most rely on, it became this scary intangible mess that I thought was going to suck up all teenagers, dismissing proper social interaction and making people too gullible.
I sound like a right granny saying that, but it just meant that I only used the internet for my work purposes and tried to avoid any kind of social media – I had become sick of it. I was working 9-hour days at a marketing and communications company (for large pharmaceutical organisations), and I was much preferring say going to the driving range to hit a few golf balls in the evenings than sitting on Facebook.
Youngsters these days (me included) are throwing around this YOLO phrase “You Only Live Once” and it’s ironic that they are letting the internet dictate and occupy their life.
Sorry if this has appeared as a rant, but I wanted to be completely honest. Yes I have been insanely busy, but writing a blog post doesn’t take too long and I just didn’t want to add yet more gunk into the scary internet cyber-sphere. I’m back into University life, surrounding myself with students 24/7 so I can guarantee that there shall be plenty of other observations, Ethnographies, book reviews etc to come so long as I can improve this relationship that I have with the internet.