Devices in the Digital Age

I have recently come to the conclusion that social media is designed to promote oneself. I mean, this is an obvious observation, but when one thinks about it, it is extremely unsettling. The self, the ego, does not need any help making itself more known. The self is made known through our language, both official and colloquial, dress, occupation, habits, music and novel choices and so much more. One reveals oneself, ones ego, through a multitude of facets in a technology free world. Is it truly necessary to make the self more known through emotional, both genuine and exaggerated, status updates, location check-ins, friend declarations, event attendances and the like? I would submit that this is far more damaging than one may realize. The more that one tells the world his/her comings and goings and who he/she comes and goes with and receives gratification through acknowledgement of those comings and goings, the more he/she comes to need that gratification. It is a terrible cycle wherein one cannot simply go someplace and enjoy oneself, one must go someplace and tell someone, anyone, a stranger event, in order to truly enjoy him/herself. The ego grows larger through promotion only to desperately need more and more gratification. For example, today my husband and I journeyed down a natural trail to a beautiful overlook of our city. While there, a group of young people gathered together at the edge of the overlook to take pictures. To watch their interactions revealed that they were oblivious to the beautiful natural scene around them because they were spending their entire time posting the pictures of the beautiful view to their social media pages. They missed the heart of their experience so they could gratify their ego through a small blue thumb on a bright white screen. Why are their hearts and minds and self not gratified through the beauty of the scene around them and the glory of the people they share it with? Why do we, a modern society, so badly desire that strangers, distant friends, past high school romances, and acquaintances approve of our activities, friends, pictures, and thoughts more than we desire to truly relish in the activities, friends, pictures, and thoughts that surround us? I fall prey to this need. I fear that we all do. There are so many benefits to social media, but are our egos equipped to deal with the conundrum that social media presents?

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