Get a Life.

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Jake Buck

I’m Jake, I either live on the disgusting part of Cambridge or the disgusting part of London. Sometimes I go to uni at Brunel and sometimes I cry in bed over Disney cartoons. I have a strong attraction to KFC. @JakeBBuck

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Superficiality. Internet.

I’ve been thinking how social networks exacerbate people’s insecurities and desperation for validation. I think Twitter can, like everything else, have massive pros and cons. For people like me, it was a way of finding new people and friends, so I wasn’t forever stuck inside with tissues and alcohol, and I think it’s great for that; I’ve met some of my best friends through Twitter. I’m not interested in following people I don’t know or don’t like or whose tweets annoy, me because I have a genuine friendship with them so the Twitter connection is just a starting point and loses its importance once the actual friendship has blossomed.

However, there’s the people who use it as a means of bolstering ones own ego and obsess over who follows them, who unfollows them, how high their follower count is, and get excited when a ‘Twitter famous’ person follows them and even have set restrictions for who they follow, making sure they don’t follow more people then they follow etc., even whether their profile picture has got enough favourites or likes on Instagram, or has been up too long or looks good enough or too photoshopped. It’s all a bit too much nowadays and I think this is where superficiality becomes a problem and I think Twitter becomes too important in their lives and is used as an excuse to not get a hobby and care about something real.

Twitter’s just the one example I thought of, but it still applies to most social networks: Facebook, Tumblr, Ask.fm, YouTube WHATEVER. I think in some people’s cases that it’s taken over their real lives and is disconnecting them from people rather than connecting them, like it should. Their time becomes spent on things like wondering if an indirect tweet has been sent about them and plotting their revenge rather than spending quality time with people or doing something productive or showering.

Even when it crosses into real life, ‘meet ups’ or whatever, it again just furthers people’s own ego as they can have cliques and reduce themselves to playground maturity to shut others out because they don’t have enough followers and clearly, the way to judge someone’s character is how many followers they have rather than by the fact they place such an importance on internet followers in the first place.

When it becomes all that a person’s life revolves around, and they’re defined by their tweets, and their cyber-life becomes their priority, I think social networks become a problem because they lose normal human interaction and lose normal social standards and manners. They become quite removed from reality. They can create a new life for themselves by putting an facade onto the internet so that they can escape from their real surroundings and I think that’s a bit worrying.

I think it needs to be a healthy balance, and I enjoy how my Twitter and real life have a crossover, so that I’ve met most, if not all, of the people I follow and I have actual friendships with them. I still have my university as a high priority in my life and Twitter helps me connect with other people at my university when face-to-face contact isn’t possible. Not what I’ve just stated before. I don’t care if someone’s written a bitchy tweet about me and is waiting for me to react, I care about spending time with my boyfriend and friends. I’m not bothered if someone’s spread gossip about me on Twitter and I’ve lost followers from it, I’m more concerned about paying my rent and working towards my degree.

It’s creating quite a boring life to watch people get so worked up about trivial things like this and I think it screams out that these people need an actual hobby or a real job or just SOMETHING in their lives that’s real for them to care about, that gets them out the house, gets them real social interaction and real priorities and morals. To stay in the internet world just prolongs the playground feeling of bitchiness and cliques and “he said she said” bullshit. After a while it’s just so boring. Does it really matter if you think you’re one of the popular girls on the internet if that’s all you care about? I’ve even seen it reach certain peaks where people are having more cyber sex with strangers off Twitter than going out to pull, and I genuinely think there needs to be a new word for how desperate that is.

So the point is to find something fulfilling in your life that you can work on and can represent you. Whether it be art, work, an (outside) social life, education, family, whatever, even buy a fucking cat. Anything that gets you out to the big wide world rather than your small, cramped bedroom, is a much more prosperous life and can make you such a better person. Even superficialities such as hair and money and clothes are worth investing time in over internet superficialities. Get a hobby, get a life.

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