A Senior Capstone Project Revisited (2014)
In generations before us college was an interpersonal connection of faces and names, knowing the right people and meeting the wrong ones by mistake, or vice versa. We shook professors hands and hugged fraternity brothers unashamed, we even looked our peers in the eyes during conversations and important events. We didn’t, however, have the networking abilities to find each person we made a connection with and further the relationship afterward, nor did we view this as immediately necessary.
Today instead of graduating from a swirling world of face to face interaction, a real life world of faces so to speak, we are graduating from an institution of screens. Mirrors reflecting our true selves, social media has taken control of our lives as students and humans in general, and it is by no means going away anytime soon.
We put into our profiles and pages our whole life, our experiences and our events. We use these screens as electronic journals, typing away our thoughts and plans, hoping that other people care about them just as much as we do. Our free time is spent checking up on what other people are doing in their free time, which is most likely something similar to what we’re doing on our own screen.
Look around in hallways anywhere on campus and you’ll see an average of 7/10 students or teachers on their phones. The quad is full of professional iPhone filtered photographers, and each concert or comedian visiting is hard to see through the glare of phones in the crowd. Laptops have taken precedence over paper, typing skills over cursive skills, and homework is preferred electronically over personally. If you need an extension you can hop on Gmail or Facebook and send a quick line to a professor, connect with them instantly.
So why are we so addicted to social media, and how is it affecting our lives? Do the negatives of screen envy outweigh the positives of networking or is social media simply another small step on the grander scale of technological advancement that we must learn to live with and adapt to even further?
In my series of flash fiction pieces, I would like to address these issues and allow you to think about them as you listen to the stories of our generation, our songs of screens. Like the irresistible songs the sirens sang to the men in the Odyssey, these stories show the irresistible attraction to screens, in almost any form, that we all now have.
These stories put into words our digital experiences that we have not, and our real emotions that come along with them. They are books of peoples experiences, with no faces or names to distract from the bigger picture, these stories are FacelessBooks.
Flash Fiction Series Revisited to be posted soon.