Media Games

The 20s are all about stepping up your social media game. Dominating the social scene is hard enough in real life, but online takes it's to a whole other level. Not only do you have to be socially excellent, but you have to find the perfect balance of everything (politics, social justice, quotes, lyrics, real updates etc.). Too much of one thing, and you could be marked as "that friend" (that's a title that doesn't blow away easily). Ready, set, let the media games begin!
Lately, I've become really popular on Facebook. I don't know what it is about the stuff I post but people just really seem to like it.  No matter what status it is (an inspirational quote, quirky joke, or social justice related observation) the new minimum is 20 likes. I don't know if I all of sudden I have become really engaging or maybe my real-life notoriety is finally making it's way to the interwebs. Either way people are interacting with me more than ever before. Everyday I post something new and it's like people are just waiting for what I'll do or say next. It's kind of weird, kind of flattering, and kind of makes me anxious. At any moment I could say something wrong, and all of sudden I would be falling from the socialite heavens. It's actually a dangerous game to be playing, but it ties in perfectly with the greater narrative that is my life this school year. This whole campus celebrity thing is a gift and a curse. Yeah, it's great to know a shat ton of people - that is to be able to walk anywhere and recognize (or be recognized) someone - but then again, that's a lot of inquiring people. Sometimes I wonder if my life is a little too public? It's not like I'm walking on eggshells, but one mess up and my name would be all over the school newspaper, tumblrs, confession page and twitter feeds. It's actually kind of terrifying, people not only keep me going and doing the most, but also have the power to tear me down  just as quickly as they built me up. The only thing people love more than loving people is hating them. To say I'm unafraid of people turning on me for a risqué (coming from the belief conservative, reserved, straight-edge perfectionist) post, comment would be a bold-faced lie. There's just too many people who know my name, too many to keep up with, to get to know properly and to build relationships with. Slowly but surely everyday they get bits and pieces of what I guess could be perceived as me in my online presence. My reach is unreal and honestly it's kind of crazy. My big question, is why do people care? Is my life really that interesting, there's no way. If I were going to guess, I think it'd be my quirky authenticity and ability to bring it to any space I'm in, class, meetings, or even in my social media outlets. Nobody does it like I do - that's for sure. Media games are a go.
The web and all its related apps can be a wild place. This past week everyone went hardcore off the wall, splits on trees, popped a Molly crazy over the Apple iOS7 update. Like the world stopped rotating and wifi servers everywhere let out this gigantic cry of exertion. Calm down people - was it really that serious? The amount of time that people (myself included - I am the king of wexting *walk/texting) spend on their phones is mindblowing. The first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you look at before bed, but why though? Why have we become dependent on social media and cell-phones? For me, it gives me something to do and provides an alternative to awkward situations where I would otherwise be standing doing nothing. The thing is, what's wrong with doing nothing? Uhm, nothing. Sometimes you have to unplug and embrace the real world (well you could argue our online lives are the "real world" nowadays). Just be in it, experience it and live in the moment. It's so important. I find myself wanting to make a vine, send a snapchat, live tweet, or take a selife whenever anything exciting happens - but how about putting the phone doing and just experiencing it. Active minds, present bodies, and engaged attitudes go a long way. It's just refreshing to pay attention and just be. Nothing more. Turn on the phone, or ignore it for a couple hours, the contrast is stark. Like there's actually things going on other than instavideos and retweeted tweets. What I've learned this week is to process after the fact and just do things cause you know, YOLO, swag on you, turnt up life. No but actually though, my friends are undoubtedly the best and worst people ever. Best because I truly value their friendship and ability to deal with my ridiculousness, and worst because as a stubborn, overly-cautious, non-spontaneous guy, they are some of the few people that can get me to do or try anything new (well other than food, I'm always about that life). I have so many rules when it comes to friends but somehow they get thrown out the window when I'm not thinking, analyzing, and pondering just how I relate to other people. In the same way that we used to honor the sacredness of being FBO (facebook official - does it matter anymore?), it's become standard practice to DTF (define the friendship). For me, that means either being explicit in a "let's be friends for like ever" or a sly reference to wedding parties, godchildren and future funtivities. I don't know what is about junior year, but I've come to actually like hanging out with people. In particular my buddies, Taylor, Tyler, and Mac have been keeping me company. Sunday night at like midnight I had my first ever coffee (like never have I ever in my entire life had one before then) because Mac got me to do it. Had my weekly bro-talk with Taylor, and people watched with Tyler at the dining hall. Wild week, but I made it and all my social media reflects it. Too many media games.
The 20s are all about getting social in the digital age. Social media is apart of our lives and it's here to stay. It has its perks and its shortcomings - do with it what you may but it's now more than just a bunch of information and pictures, it's a digital extension of ourselves. Make sure it's an accurate representation of who you are. Nothing on the internet stays gone forever; there's no such thing as delete. Quit playing these media games.

My blog post question for the day is ... how much time do you think you spend on social media? Yeah, it's kind of like a perpetual occurrence in my life. It's like all day everyday, at all hours of the day and night #latenightvine


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