Moving Through Time – (in the age of social media and the celebrity culture)

Social Media is arguably the internet’s most fascinating breakthrough of the 21st century. I am no expert, but as someone who grew up in an era of early cellular phones, I have lived to witness how communication in humanity progressed. I remember as a child, before internet was a ‘thing,’ and when international calls were expensive, I used to write handwritten letters and greeting cards. I would send them through the post office to relatives living abroad. All depending on its destination, it would typically arrive in 14 days, at times longer. We have come a long way. Today, communication has become a lot faster, easier and in most cases, cost-free. First, there was the 'email'. And then there was 'text'. And now with social media, you can have a peek of someone’s daily life thru a series of posts, pictures and videos. You can communicate without having to say a word; you just hit the button and it tells the other person whether you 'like' or 'dislike' what they’ve shared. You can express your emotion through a bunch of emojis. You can take photos, enhance them before they’re out for public view. And if the public embrace what you put out there, potentially, you could become an overnight sensation and rake in millions into your bank account. The frequent use of social media among celebrities and world leaders alike has catapulted itself into becoming more than just a phenomenon; it has become an influential institution. And its creators? They have become mega-billionaires and powerful individuals themselves. But, I take into consideration the yin-yang philosophy amid triumph this new medium has brought the world into. In every milestone of human advancement lurk its advantage and its downside, all in one small package. Communication may seem a lot easier - and so as spreading hatred. It provides your daily dose of news updates, but it can also mislead you into deception. It has created virtual communities. You can make thousands of online friends or gain millions of followers from around the world by sharing with the public the life you make them to believe. But, it has also desensitized the unsupervised youth. It has become a haven for bullies. And because of its nature where anyone can choose anonymity, they believe they can get a way with their actions. Worse, they think such actions are okay. Some put on a character; an alter ego packaged a certain way to entice the public into liking them. And once they reach the attention and popularity they have been carving out for some time, what some fail to realize, is that they are also losing a sense of authenticity. They have become their alter ego’s own slaves. It is like a drug that makes you feel superior on one hand, but it alienates you from reality until you find yourself lost and having a difficulty finding your way back. In the celebrity culture-dominated society, kids of today look up to the brightest 'star' there is. They try to replicate the kind of lifestyle their adored celebrities have, or the life those people imply of having through social media. You put on some diamonds on them, or dress them up in a nice Valentino suit, or perhaps a Tom Ford and you will have a hard time telling the difference. Inside the pretty dress could be a demon disguised in a Prada and a pair of Manolo’s. It goes to say, that everything that glitters isn’t always real, sometimes it’s just the surface. Sadly, social media has made young people to believe otherwise. Gone are the days when almost exclusively, only the real talents make the cut. Today, anyone can be famous, if not in mainstream media, in social media. And the perks that come with it can be so rewarding to the fame-thirsty generation. But it has also proven to be so effective in brainwashing the public. Social media has been tied to the alleged hacking into the US 2016 election. If it were true, once again, we have let social media betray us, this time might just be the biggest one by far. As humans increasingly become more intellectually evolved, so as the way we do and take on things. And if we choose to rebel on the ever-changing way of life, we will be left far off behind; time waits for no one. But if we embrace change, choose to smarten up, enough to know when to draw the line, I think we will be just fine. We can move through time with ease and optimism that something good is going to come out of it. That is, if we use the privilege that we have now to do greatness into the world that gets passed down to generations.

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