This week, we were scrolling through Instagram and came across the mind boggling hashtag: #mood. This got us thinking about the new world of influencers and their apparent lack of originality. The first thought, of course, is ‘what does that even mean?’. Is it a good mood, a bad mood, ambience…what?! Turns out it’s all of the above. This hashtag is simply telling us that the person posting is experiencing some sort of mood. Are we so detached from life that we have to remind each other of the human condition?
Okay, it’s only a hashtag. It’s just the term that triggered this chain of events. We all know that social media, no matter which platform you prefer, will include buzzwords and popular phrases. It’s kind of how it works. But it may be an indication that we’re running out of new things to say…
Lessons from the past
Social media is such an incredibly efficient and easy way to communicate. In a way, it has taken us back to the days of the “Republic of Letters”. We can communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime. But instead of taking the time to pen a well-thought-out letter, we now just post whatever comes into our heads. This is both a good and a bad thing. On the plus side, we can connect with people all over the world instantaneously. On the negative side, we might not be putting our best foot forward. Or worse, we might not be conveying the message we want to send at all.
The ‘Age of Enlightenment’ was a time when reason and science were celebrated. It was a period of great intellectual advancement. Today, we like to think of ourselves as being just as enlightened. But are we?
The modern answer
It’s not that we are incapable of original thought, rather it may be easier to stay relevant by saying the same things. After all, social media is a platform for peer-to-peer communication. We follow people who think like us, act like us and share the same values. So it’s no surprise that we see the same things being said over and over again.
It’s not that social media is making us all the same, but it is flattening out our individuality. We are becoming more alike instead of more different. So next time you’re scrolling through your feed, take a moment to think about what you’re seeing. Is it representative of who you are? Or is it just a echo chamber of the same old thing?
Meaningful Human Interaction
In a world that is increasingly mediated by social media, it’s important to remember the value of human interaction. There’s nothing quite like speaking to someone face-to-face. Social media can never replace the nuances and subtleties of human communication.
With the rise of coworking, we now have more opportunities to socialise face-to-face than ever before. So there’s hope yet for originality! Let’s keep our ideas and sentiments to ourselves (or at least inform people we meet in person) and avoid limiting ourselves to viewpoints we already hold… Who knows, we might just have something interesting to say.