Social media creates a feeding frenzy for information in our society that distracts from the important things in our lives

A tiny, glass screen has been in the student’s face for hours, updating her brain constantly with information. Who’s doing what, where are they, why are they doing it. Oh wait, another person just updated. Let’s see what’s going on; oh, but first let’s like another person’s post.

Fingers fly across the screen with as much practice as a professional pianist. And it’s not just one student; the people next to her are doing the same thing. Meanwhile, the teacher sits at the front of the room, scratching his head as to why the class average was a D+ on the last test.

What an individual knows is just as important as what one does with it, if not more so. As I see more and more people learning about each other through social media, I have to stop and question the effectiveness of such a method. Through sites such as Twitter and Facebook, there are people who will post their entire day’s events, and after roughly 10 minutes of reading, I can know what they ate for breakfast, the number of cats they own, and how their child is doing in school at the time.

There simply is too much information around us. As a result, we have become a society that is obsessed with trivial knowledge. Through social media outlets, the floodgates have broken. We are driven to constantly check up on our friends and family, learning more and more about each other. What I fear the most about this rise in social media, is that as a people, we are becoming less and less active. I don’t mean going outside for exercise; rather than try to change our society and the world, we take on the role of observers, merely watching the world around us.

As a result of all this watching, we no longer act in the world. It doesn’t matter how much this society talks on forums about new philosophies and creative ideas. We have to take action on these ideas. So much of the “information” we concern ourselves with our mere distractions from our lives. We don’t need to know each day’s Facebook status, nor do we need to post every bit of our lives on such an open source. While we are allowed to take a break from life for a while, there’s always been a difference between vacationer and beach bum.

As a society, we have allowed ourselves to become distracted and the best time for a foe to strike is when their opponent is distracted. While we sit around talking about trivial facts, we forget about conflicts both in this country and outside it that we can have a dramatic effect on if we chose to do so. Rather than complain about our lives, the economy, or the conflict in Syria endlessly on the Internet, we should be taking action and facing the future head on. Rather than text endlessly about how your experience at the town park was ruined due to trash everywhere, get your friends together and clean the park.

The same experience was true for our Founding Fathers, who realized that it didn’t matter how many nights they sat in a tavern and thought of a brighter future for this nation. They cast aside their cell phones and Facebook accounts, fought, and did something great.
If we put down the phone and look in the mirror, how are we different?