The ‘me generation’. The most recent addition to the work force making older generations grumpy. We are obsessed with ourselves. We take copious amounts of selfies and brag about everything we do on every available platform. Various reports state that we live with our parents for longer and thus force them to spend their hard earned money on us, the youngsters who are either to afraid or too lazy to get a job, according to them.
Yes, we are obsessed with ourselves. 100% agree. However I’d much rather my friends love themselves over them hating themselves, and I love when people are so proud of something they’ve done that they want to share it with everyone. Furthermore, a selfie or two isn’t destroying the world or our brains. The self-obsession isn’t really what concerns me; what worries me is the way people measure their self-worth (whether that is their looks or their life in general) through the response they receive on a social media platform.
Enter Snapchat: the social network designed to let you send 10-second long photos or videos to your friends. Notorious for the trading of nudes, the photos disappear never to be seen again giving you the freedom to do what ever you want. The second level to the app is ‘Snapchat Stories’. This is the same idea however the photos and videos stay on the app for 24hrs allowing you to document your entire life to all of your Snapchat friends. Apparently, some members of the ‘me generation’ cannot leave the house and have fun without providing a behind-the-scenes live feed to everyone they know via the app.
This tendency to overshare perfectly supports the argument about young people being unable to live in the moment. We see it everywhere. People watch entire concerts of their favourite artists through their phone screens, and then they upload it with the intent of making others envious; “LOOK! I HAD AN AMAZING TIME AND YOU DIDNT”. This then progresses into “TELL ME THAT IT LOOKS SO GREAT AND THAT YOU WISH YOU WERE THERE” I know this because I am 100% guilty of doing it. Yes, by the way, Ed Sheeran WAS incredible, thank you for asking.
Now replace that concert with a party, or a nightclub, or in some cases an ordinary day and we get to what is really troubling and slightly frustrating. People are constantly taking photos and videos and uploading them to their Snapchat without a second thought. Why can’t we have fun without telling everyone about it? Why can’t we dance around and spend quality time with our friends without spending the entire evening looking at them through the screen of our phones? Your ability to go out, have fun and enjoy your life isn’t determined by other people agreeing with you that your life is great.
Is this just more ‘me generation’ bragging? Is it attention-seeking behaviour? Or is it just more evidence that today’s youth need to reassure themselves about every aspect of their life. They need to both BE the best and HAVE the best of everything. Everything about our self-worth is measured according to our social networking friends.
Why am I only targeting Snapchat here? Other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are less futile in my opinion (only marginally). I’ve noticed that people put considerably more thought into what they post on those platforms over what they post on Snapchat. ie. you’re less likely to see a 200 second video of incoherent snippets of nightclub scenes on Facebook. I even have friends who post photos to Instagram at a specific time to ensure they can get the most likes possible (it’s around 8pm, if you’re wondering.) It’s a little messed up and kinda seems like they’re marketing them selves for ‘likes’, but it’s entrepreneurial I guess?
Try going out for once without documenting it on Snapchat. Put down your phone for a few hours. You’ll still have fun, and I’m sure you won’t even notice a difference. Live your life through your own eyes, according to your own rules and your own standards. Don’t let a view count determine how you value yourself, guys.