Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if we translated the social norms of today back in time…say about twenty years. What am I talking about? Well, take social media for example… some of the things that we do today might be odd if one was to do something of an equivalent nature back then. Take the selfie for example. Today, we post photos that are accessed by hundreds of our friends, and in exchange, they respond to your digital gesture by “liking” it. That means that in 1996, someone would have to take a photo of him or herself, go wait the typical hour to get the film developed, go back home, place the photo into an envelope with a little note about the photo, put a stamp on it, mail it, and then wait for one of their friends to receive it. Sound crazy? Perhaps not enough, yet. The friend then receives the photo, places it into a stack of photos of friends’ faces posing for the camera, then gets out some stationery, writes down on the note that he or she liked the photo that was received, and then mail it back.
I’m sorry I’ve just wasted that much of your time, but can we take a moment to imagine what is happening in the scenario that I’ve just described? It’s exactly as weird as it sounds. It’s sharing a selfie on social media- twenty years ago. Can you imagine the reaction of someone receiving a photo of you in the mail… just because? Neither can I.
I’ve discovered in a few years of working in social media that the “selfie” is running rampant. It has become normal to fill albums to the brim with one face. So, who said this was a good idea? Who said that this is how we should make the world a better place? The problem is that at the onset of the selfie revolution, people were able to post a photo of themselves, and receive gestures of love, admiration, and an overwhelming sense of beauty. However, after multiple posts, the process has a difficult time repeating itself. Eventually, the wells of love that people pour out for the selfies run dry; nothing has been poured back into them. The selfie is not sustainable… but the elsie is. When we seek love and admiration, and we seek it through the use of a selfie, we have to ask for it. Alternately, when we seek love and admiration through the elsie, it is given freely; it is always with you. When you pour out your heart for the people that you love, the selfie becomes irrelevant, and useless. It becomes a sign of the insecurities that are held onto and fed by the likes and comments that are superficially submitted on a single photo. Let’s get real here, friends. Selfies had their time, and they have contributed to the state of the society that we now live in. So, take a good look around you. Watch the news. Take a peek at the trending topics. How’s it looking?
I’ll be honest… I just had a look, and it would seem that our world- is filled with hate. We’ve taken a medium of communication, and turned it into a megaphone for nonsense. Communication is simple- it exists so that we can have a two-way exchange. Instead, we’re treating social media like a vending machine. We put in a photo of our self, and out comes our love, delivered right on time, just how we want it and like it. Only… it’s not real love. It’s empty. It’s part of the selfishness that’s fueling the views, tempers, fear, and hatred on social media, which is being translated onto the streets of the neighborshoods across the country. But what if I told you that YOU can be a part of the change?
I have good news for you, friends. You can be a part of the change. You can begin changing the world, one small act of kindness at a time. I’ve always told people that when you turn your camera around, you also turn your life around. Doesn’t really seem like that would make a difference, does it? Let me explain.
Living a life with an inward, self-focused view harbors an outward insensitivity. Furthermore, it robs you of the opportunity to take a medium of communication to tell someone else that they’re admired and loved. You see, when you begin using social media to encourage, care for, and love others, the love that the “selfie” seeks is replaced by living, real, personal love… and here’s the catch: unlike the selfie, you don’t have to beg for it. It comes to you. When you love the people that are close to you, they will love you back. The only double tapping that they will be doing is on your shoulder, so they can give you a hug when you need it.
Hey, I’m Andrew Draper… I like a lot of stuff! I like being outside quite a bit. I love photography, and shoot wherever I am! I work at 12Stone Church outside of Atlanta Georgia, and I have the most awesome community of people that support me in everything that I do!