lessons from the internet

I’ve been noticing something rather strange and ironic that seems to be happening more and more lately. (Well, it seems to have plateaued or abated a bit since I wrote the draft for this post – handwrote, mind you – but still worth posting, I suppose. I don’t usually handwrite drafts for posts, but I was being lazy and didn’t want to turn on my laptop, so I just grabbed some scrap paper and a pencil. And then I forgot about it for a few weeks…)

The phenomenon I speak of is this trend of using social media against itself. More specifically, it’s all these videos and photos (or “memes” if you will) that are circulating on Facebook that either encourage people to stop spending so much time on social media sites, or that make fun of how obsessed everyone is with FB/Twitter/Instagram/whatever other sites people use to consume every spare waking second of their lives.

Now, to be clear, I have nothing against these things, just as I have nothing against social media, as such. I just thought it was ironic. But, then again, how else are people going to get these sorts of messages out?

While on the subject of social media, I’ve also been noticing a lot of people “sharing” articles about life lessons and stuff like that. These are usually titled something like “Ten things you learn in your twenties” or “Seven things every 30 year old should know”, and (from the ones that I have been bored/curious enough to read) these articles tend to offer very generic/repetitive advice like “prioritise your life – work isn’t the most important thing” or “it’s impossible to keep every friend you’ve ever made”.

The funny thing about a lot of these sorts of articles is that they also tell readers to not worry if they feel like they don’t have everything figured out, because there’s no master formula that will work for everyone. If the article does include a point like this, it’s usually at the end, which basically translates in my mind to “just ignore everything you just read – you’ll probably figure it out for yourself and still survive”. Great.


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