Anti-social Media

The best things in life are free. So give them to the birds and bees. I want money.

Barrett Strong wrote to our human nature. If you haven’t heard of Barrett Strong, the Beatles re-released the song Money (That’s What I Want) in 1963: a version I’m sure most people are familiar with. My grandfather always told me that nothing in this world is free. Everything costs something…monetary or not. We live in a world of “you owe me.”

I’m not trying to get my focus off of what’s important, but this whole Instagram business is really peeving me. Maybe it’s because I’ve realized how truly addicted to Social Media I’ve become. Maybe it’s because of a tiny fear that I’m already losing so many of my rights. Maybe it’s because I don’t like the idea of stealing.

Right now, I want to be the first to admit that I’m not well versed in all of our country’s intellectual property laws. I just know, as an artist, the idea of someone using something they didn’t create for their monetary benefit is really saddening to me.

Here is what I do know: Instagram is a free service. I’ve opted to use this free service to make pictures look pretty and share them with my friends. There had to be a catch. This company, bought out by another huge company, Facebook, decided to wait until just the right time to get something in return. It may not be money to use the application, but it is a right to have the option to use your media however they want to.

No one is saying they will. I’m not even expecting they will. But it’s the principle behind the whole matter that really bothers me. This generation has allowed social media to take over our lives. We don’t feel fulfilled unless we know what’s going on every second of the day. The big companies introduced us to the “benefits” and we got addicted. We gave them their power and now it’s time for us to pay them something in return.

I know I’m going to sound like a conspiracy theorist right now, but unfortunately, it’s something that no one will care about. Little by little, we are losing freedom. It’s happening in our government also. But we are too distracted by things that don’t matter to care about the fact that we are losing our rights.

I have responsibilities as a citizen of this country. I have to grow up and start thinking outside of the social media box. Is it really that important? Is my being a part of this huge network the ultimate validation in life? And I worry about losing some pictures and “likes.”

Generation, I need to ask you to wake up and open your eyes. Social media is a tool that we can use – it is not a tool that should be able to use us. But that’s what it’s turning into. We are a generation that can do so much, yet we are distracted by the superficial. We’ve become anti-social because of lies that told us these things would bring us closer together. Don’t blindly walk forward, accepting “policy terms and conditions” without knowing what you’re really agreeing to. I’ve done it, but I don’t want to do it anymore.

Honestly, I’m debating how to really put my “money” where my mouth is. If I truly want to make a difference, it starts with me. Like I already said, I’m super addicted to the social media drug, but I want to cut it off. I want to figure out a way to use it and not let it use me. I don’t want my world to end up like Fahrenheit 451The Giver, or The Hunger Games. I don’t want to live in a world that ended in a Second World War. But the longer we continue to open our mouths and eat what’s spoon fed to us by the big guys, the greater risk we have of doing so.

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