Have you ever heard of Intelligence Squared? If you haven’t, it’s a podcast full of Oxford-style debates concerning all kinds of pertinent modern topics such as healthcare, global policy, domestic matters within the U.S., etc. An episode typically involves two teams who are presented a motion, say, the one that I’m currently listening to which provides the question, “Do Millennials Stand A Chance?” Two people on a team are for the motion, saying yes, they stand a chance, two people are against the motion, as in no, they do not. The audience is polled prior to the debate and then again at the close of it to show how the debate impacted the audience and hence the opinion consuming public.
It’s a great podcast, that is for sure. And in the presence of such a great podcast I have the most immature reaction-motion to raise about my own life from this millenials episode:
I Do Not Have Any Friends Because Of My Lack of Social Media
I write about not having social media rather frequently because honestly, it changed my life. I rarely talk to anyone other than my boyfriend and my family anymore. I don’t talk to high school friends, college friends, study abroad friends, potentially local friends. Granted, I chat regularly with *one* friend from college, but that’s literally it. After spending a summer with a few hundred people when I studied abroad I have never seen any of them again–mostly because without social media people LITERALLY FORGET THAT YOU EXIST.
The reason this whole rant about loss is coming about is from this Millennial podcast when one woman talks about utilizing social media and GChat to talk to friends all throughout the day and how millennials spend a lot more money on experiences and travel with friends and yada yada yada. My boyfriend has become my best friend since I stopped using social media. For christ sake, I frequently Google some of my still-existing ‘good friends’ because how am I to know what is happening in their lives? I want to know. I want to be connected but I don’t want to get sucked into the cesspool of Stupid at the same time.
Maybe the arc of this is that sure, I’ve lost a lot because people forget about you if they don’t get a reminder that you exist. But bigger questions: for thousands of years no one had technology and connectivity like this. The degree of connectedness was obviously low, but true effort had to be made to sustain communication with others. When I had social media I still felt like I didn’t have meaningful conversations through it and that it didn’t particularly affect who I spent my time around. Basically, are millennials more content now with the knowledge that another exists without the actual, I-am-starting-a-conversation connectivity piece? If I still had social media, would I feel this way?
The most intimate confession I’ve had to make in the past year?
I miss having friends.