Too much sharing on the internet

Riley Schwengel

Contributing Writer

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending the lecture John Legend held in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Beyond the Box lecture series on creativity. I thought the lecture was fantastic and the music truly awe-inspiring. There was just one hitch to an otherwise flawless lecture: during Legend’s performance, dozens of flashbulbs illuminated the music hall as people scrambled to get their very own pictures of John Legend playing the piano.  I found the constant flashing distracting, annoying and incredibly rude to the performer who had given some time out of his very busy career to come and speak to us.

As I sat in the audience, trying to adjust to the last flash of light that just obscured my vision, I began to wonder why people were taking so many pictures. I realized that a good amount of these pictures would be going up on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or whatever social networking site the photographer subscribes to. These pictures would be posted to prove that he or she had attended such a performance and so friends and family could comment with trite comments such as, “So lucky!” “Wish I was there!” and “Hope it was fun!” But to what end? Why couldn’t these people just be content with listening to the music instead of making sure they got a good picture for the folks?

The social media of today has brought everyone’s lives closer together; people can share ideas, stories, films, pictures and art without even leaving their homes and communicating face to face. I believe we have taken this gift of Internet expression and bastardized it; we just share too much information. Go onto any average person’s Facebook profile or Twitter account and you can see the evidence. Statuses give us mundane information like “I hate Mondays” “Shopping with the girls!” and “I miss my girlfriend.”  Accompanying such frivolous updates, there are also millions of photos of people posing at the park, at a party, at a ball game, eating chips, making pizza, watching TV, and the list goes on and on. Many people I know can’t go out to eat without snapping an inane amount of the trivial experience, and I ask, why? Why must we share every piece of information that we have in our day? Can’t we just be happy living our lives? Must we force other people to live it too, through pictures and messages?

I’m going to make a plea to the many Facebook addicts and social media hounds. Stop it. Use these great tools that we have been given for the truly fantastic and unordinary experiences you may encounter, not for mindless drabble. If you have some great news or an intelligent response to a current event, go ahead and post it, but if you are going to the mall, just turn off your computer and go to the mall. If you’re having a good time with friends, just continue to have a good time; there is no need to make sure everyone and his or her mother knows about it. And if you find yourself at a John Legend concert, put away your camera or smart phone and enjoy the music; you can tell your friends all about it when you see them in person. Trust me, they’ll believe you.

(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)