Automatic

I have been wanting to write a post on this song for quite some time now.

Something about the song “Automatic” by Miranda Lambert has really been resonating with me lately, creating a permanent sense of nostalgia for “the good ‘ole days.” Or, as I like to call them, the ’90s.

Laugh if you must, but that’s what comes to mind with this song. I realize that for older generations, “the good ‘ole days” mean anywhere from the ’50s to the ’80s, but for my 23-year-old-self it is the ’90s, because that’s the earliest decade I can remember.

Before I even start, I will post a link to the song and song lyrics, for those of my readers who are not quite as hip as me and don’t listen to country. You’re forgiven, I suppose.

Anyway. Now that we are all acquainted with the lyrics, I will continue.

Everything truly has become automatic these days. I wake up and immediately check my phone. I look at my alarm clock to check my time. I check my facebook, twitter and emails constantly throughout my day. I listen to songs on my phone/iPod/ computer while I work, and I can have access to roughly any song I can dream of.

Everything is available to me at the click of the mouse or the touch of a button.

Not that I’m complaining, because the ease at which I can do the things I need to is pretty awesome. But, at the same time, it has all happened so fast that I haven’t even realized how reliant I have become on technology to do half of my work for me.

I  yearn for the days when I ran around outside barefoot, reading in my fort or dragging my boombox out on an extension cord so I could play on my swing set and listen to the top singles countdowns every night. I miss taking photos on a disposable camera or on an actual camera that required film, and having to make sure that the picture was lined up, because once it was taken, it meant one spot on the film was taken up and there was only a certain number of spots left to fill.

I yearn for the days I played badminton in the backyard with my mom, or played catch with my dad. I miss recording music on the radio because the tape or CD hadn’t been released yet. I miss the feeling of literally begging my parents to get internet so that I could get AIM and chat online with my friends for hours, or play games online. I miss not having cable and missing out on the “good television shows” because it required me to do other things. I miss having to ask for a digital camera, an mp3 player, a cell phone, so that I could be caught up technology-wise with everyone else. Clearly I eventually got my wish.

(Sorry for the long list of memories. I’m sure if you want to read about my life story, you will buy my potentially existing, to-be-written-someday, disjointed and chaotic autobiography, which will be chock full of crazy antics and memoirs. Anyway, back to technology…)

It’s insane how much technology has taken over not only everyone else’s life, but my life. I can’t go anywhere without checking my phone a million times. I feel weird if I don’t use it couple of hours, like a part of my life is missing almost. It’s the way society has progressed, and I’m not sure I like it really.

Not to say that I don’t sit at home and read or watch tv or workout and disconnect from social media and other outlets, because I do. And I love it. But honestly, this society is NOTHING like it was back then. With technology advances came shortcuts, but with it also came complications and responsibilities. Now it’s like everyone is required to have a facebook or some sort of social media outlet to connect. You’re required to have a LinkedIn page to share information with potential future employers and to constantly network with people you could potentially wind up working with.

Can’t we just slow down?

And another thing. (This requires a little pre-explanation). Please don’t think that I’m being insensitive and  that I don’t love seeing my friends post photos of their life accomplishments, such as weddings and children, because I really do. I’m so happy to be able to share these things with my friends, even if I’m not able to be there in person to see them. I love seeing pictures of wedding ceremonies and the joy that is there. I love seeing photos of my friends becoming first-time mommies and daddies, and posting photos of their children as they accomplish different life milestones.

But imagine, for a second, how life would be different if we had grown up in the same way?

I can definitely say that if my mother and father had posted photos of me throughout my childhood on their own Facebook pages, I would have grown up to have a lot more angst towards my parents than the typical angst that comes with pre-teen and teen development. I would’ve wondered why they felt the need to post pictures of me crawling around in diapers for the world to see. Not that their friends and family didn’t see such photos of me, because I know they did. But sharing them online? I can’t even imagine.

I can’t help but wonder how these children are going to grow up, knowing that their entire life story was published on social media for other people to see without them having any say in the matter. Will the same social media even apply when they’ve grown up, or will it have moved on to something else? Will things such as Facebook and Twitter even still exist in ten or fifteen years?

Sure, we post photos and pictures of ourselves all the time on social media. But it’s our choice to do that. These kids have no idea that their parents are posting their information all over social media. And who knows? Maybe these kids will grow up and not care. Maybe it won’t have a factor on how they grow up. Maybe they will never find out about it.

Again, I’d like to reiterate that I’m not trying to badmouth the number of friends I have that do this. I truly do enjoy sharing these life moments with them that I’m not always able to see in person. Maybe the fact that I don’t have kids of my own to post goofy pictures of all the time on my own social media pages makes my opinion irrelevant. I will say, however, that if I do have kids some day, I hope to take this blog post into account before I go around posting photos of them all over my Facebook.

I went off on a little tangent there, so I’m going to attempt to wrap this up in a nice way that will tie together everything I’ve rambled about.

I miss the days that social media was not a requirement, and that writing letters or a phone call were the ways we contacted people. Sure, having technology to communicate is great, but I feel as if it’s taken over my life. I can’t imagine how my time was spent when internet and cell phones weren’t a part of my daily routine, and I really wish that I could go back.

I realize the irony of writing this on an online blog, but I want to share these thoughts with others. What better way to share information than the internet, eh? I may be contradicting myself, but as I said earlier, technology is definitely useful. It’s just become something to rely on too heavily, in my opinion.

So. From now on I am going to attempt to take some breaks from my social media and technology abuse and just enjoy the simple things in life; reading a book, working out, going on walks, enjoying fresh air, writing letters because it’s a gesture that shows effort (even though stamps are ridiculously expensive now…), and doing things that truly require more effort. I’ve become too lazy for my own liking.

I think I’ll start now 🙂

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