Social media has made us all spectators in our own lives.
“Is this share-worthy?”
“Will this get likes?”
“I need a picture of everything I ever do.”
Look, I totally understand taking pictures for memories but there is a line where it becomes obsessive.
This is why I love social media, but I’m horrible at documenting my own life. I don’t feel the need to whip out my camera during every single moment and capture every single thing. I know I need to work on this so I can put out more content that helps people, but I also need to work on reducing the amount of negative content that is out there.
This also happens at every single concert I’ve ever been to. People are so busy taking pictures and videos that they spend all their time looking at their phones instead of the band on the stage.
They will have pictures forever, but you probably won’t see that band more than once or twice their lives. Instead of looking at the band, we’re looking at our entire lives through our phones.
I see this with people on dates, with friends, with parents and children… We’ve all become mindless to the world around us.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet. It’s the best blessing to humanity in years. We are able to communicate ideas and thoughts, create communities, and establish relationships that were never possible before.
Some of the best things in my life have come from the internet, actually.
However, there’s another side where so many people are so busy with their phones, they’re ignoring their own lives.
Instead of working toward their goals every day, they’re too wrapped up in what’s happening in the world. Whether it’s celebrities fighting, politicians being politicians, internet drama (because everyone is always outraged about something), your friends’ new baby picture… whatever, it all takes away from winning in your own life.
After any week where I spend way too much time online or on my phone, I’ve noticed this insane amount of irritation with the people in my life, no ability to focus, and less progress toward my goals. None of those are acceptable.
Instead of actually enjoying life every single day, we seem to have become spectators to our own lives.
Instead of being in the arena and getting our hands dirty with winning, we’re consuming life through a little screen and comparing our lives to everyone else’s in the process.
In case you haven’t read the famous “in the arena quote”, you need to:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
The point is, life is not a rehearsal.
There are no do-overs, we can’t go back in time, and we never know when it all ends. Maybe that’s too morbid for most people, but it’s a fact.
I have no hard conclusion for this post, just a reminder that life is short and we should actually have memories that doesn’t involve documentation or technology. Record what matters, help other people, and don’t worry about the other things.