A few months ago, I was hanging out with someone, and I wasn’t sure if he was a friend, if we were dating, or if he was social climbing me. In situations like this, it would probably be best to just let things play out, in case it blossoms into something wonderful. But, truthfully, dating just takes too much energy that I would rather be spending elsewhere.
The real deal breaker? He couldn’t stop looking at Instagram. Like, every five minutes he would be scrolling through his feed. It had me thinking: Is this what’s become of our generation?
Dude. WHAT is happening in your stream that you have to be on it so consistently? What is this obsession with everyone else’s lives?
It’s quite alarming to me the rate at which everyone currently is on their phone. I always look to see what people are doing when they are buried in their phone, and nine times out of 10, they are on a social media network, usually Instagram or Facebook. Even when I’m hanging out with close friends, I notice some of them scroll through their feeds every time there’s a 30-second break in the conversation, looking to make sure they don’t miss a single post. Is your life really going to change if you miss a photo?
Most times, when I do decide to look at my already-overcrowded-with-courtesy-follows stream, I just feel left out. The only time that I would say it’s cool to be on your phone in public is to post. Sharing what’s happening is one thing; looking at everything else happening is just weird. You should be where you’re at. Constantly checking social media is a habit that studies indicate can be an actual addiction.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my recent layover in Los Angeles on my way back from Austin. I attended a show at The Roxy where nobody was using their phone. The Roxy is a standing-room-only venue with a capacity for 500. The floor is level, so if the person in front of you decided they want to be the jerk video-recording the entire thing sideways on their phone, it would completely disrupt your view. Luckily, everyone had their hands shoved in their pockets, slowly nodding their heads to the beautifully loud, dreamy guitars of This Will Destroy You. It was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while.
This past weekend, I was on my couch watching the Coach-ella livestream, enjoying “Couchella” (the term I still think I started years ago). The music fest does such an amazing job with the production of its video that it makes me wonder why anyone would even want to spend the money to experience the event any other way. Every crowd shot, no matter who was playing, showed thousands of concert-goers on their phones. Everyone recording everything. What are you doing with all of that video? Are you sending it to the producers of your reality show for b-roll? I know what I’m doing: deleting it all when I run out of space, 20 minutes later.
Maybe saying this means I’m out of touch, but it just makes no sense to have your phone watching a mega-concert through that little viewfinder when it’s already being streamed live. There is a time and place for everything.
Christa Wittmier is “SUPERCW” on all social media. Find her on Snapchat, SoundCloud, Twitter, Vine and Instagram. By night, she is known as DJ SuperCW. By day, she is known as senior marketing director for Young’s Market Company of Hawaii. Her nightlife blog SuperCity runs every Wednesday on HonoluluPulse.com.