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Relying + Documenting

My phone recently broke, and my life fell into immediate turmoil.

It’s a bit mad how addicted we all are to our phones isn’t it? I’ve always justified it to myself as being a person who intends to form a career in social media, and so it’s only natural I’m glued to my phone more than most right? Maybe so, but I think I need to take a step back.

I’ve caught myself multiple times on my phone whilst brushing my teeth, drying my hair, hoovering up, during countless other tasks which really do not require me to be on my phone. I’m not reading anything of any substance, and it’s not as if I can’t reply to a message in 5 minutes when I’m done. The tweets will still be there waiting, the videos won’t have stopped existing.

It’s not just that though, we all rely so heavily on our phones. My phone is well, my actual phone, the way I communicate with literally anyone, the way I keep up to date on social media, the way I watch YouTube videos, the device I use to listen to music, the device I play games on, my calculator, my GPS, my access to the internet, my camera, my wallet, my watch, my calendar, my to-do list…it goes on. So when my phone began to break, I realised how much I couldn’t do, how was I supposed to get a cab into town? How was I to message my family to let them know why I’m not replying to messages? What was to be my alarm in the morning? Last year my phone broke and I had to spend £2 on an Animal Crossing alarm clock app on my 3DS. I had no other way of ensuring I’d be up in the morning.

Bizarre isn’t it? I owned nothing else with an alarm feature built in, except for a games console.

The way social media and technology has developed means that we document so much. I can scroll through my camera roll and find out what I ate at a specific date and time, who I was with and what we were wearing. Isn’t that weird as fuck?

I bloody love it though. I have a pretty poor memory for some things, so much of high school is a blur to me, the same with college. The latter I only finished three and a half years ago. To me that’s pretty scary, so I love the ability to have a photograph of something and be taken back to that time in my life, it’s so amazing. Although, I still hate being that dickhead who takes a picture of his food before he eats it.

I take pride in my online ‘image’. As in, I love to design and cultivate content for various platforms. When I say image, I’m not referring to the person I want people to think I am, I like to think that the me online is the same as the me in real life, although I’m always wearing pyjama pants on one side of the screen. The me I present online is the same as the me in real life, but I don’t tend to document the crappy times. I don’t photograph the days I feel totally down about my future, or my appearance. I’ve sometimes documented these on my blog and my YouTube channel, however I’m far more likely to be documenting the good times. You want to remember the best times, you don’t want to remember the dark. It’s that simple. But does it paint a false narrative of our own lives? Or is it just generally assumed that we all have invisible struggles? I believe the latter should be case, and people should be free to document as much or as little of their life as possible, without other’s passing judgment on how easy or hard they have it, as really we have no clue.

I’ve posted twice on Instagram today; a post on a concert I went to last night, and another of my trip to Norway a few weeks back. From that there is no way to infer what internal struggles I may be having, or what challenges and hurdles I’m overcoming right now. Conversely, it does not showcase any amazing news or successes I may have going on.

I think I want to either document all the times, or tone down how much I document. I want to live more experiences for the sheer joy of just doing them. It doesn’t always need to be posted about, life doesn’t revolve around the ‘gram. I don’t think I have much of an issue with this truly, my issue is how easy I find it to just sit and scroll through Twitter for ages.

I enjoy taking photographs, I love using my DSLR whilst on travelling, I love to piece together days via these snapshots, and I love that I can then post them on here and relive the trip forever, it’s enshrined somewhere online for as long as the internet lasts.

So what was the real point in this post? I’m documenting a discussion on how much I documented and capture moments online. There’s some irony in there I’m sure, but cards on the table, I’ve never had a full grip on irony. When you spend your life online, when you are building a career that relies so heavily on the online world, you run the risk of living your life behind screens instead of enjoying the pure experience. I think I’ve walked this line a couple of times now, and I find it very interesting to think about.

I think it’s time to end this incoherent babble. I’d love to go back to this one day, and instead of writing it out as it comes to mind, it would be nice to structure this into some sort of critical essay. Until right now I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed writing analytical essays since finishing my degree.

Anyway, cheers if you stuck around to the bottom.

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