Each morning, as I sit eating my granola cereal topped with frozen blueberries and banana, I do what any college student would do—waste ten minutes on my phone. First, I look at all my friends’ stories on Snapchat, then I scroll through my Insta feed and like my friends pictures, occasionally trolling on my one wonderful friend’s posts. Finally, I take to Facebook, briefly looking at what's “trending” and then proceed to read various articles that come up on my feed.
One could argue that a better start to my school day would be to read the newspaper or a book rather than numbing my mind with social media. I will counter that while I might not be engaging in strictly educational literature, I am doing my part to participate in this psychologically intriguing era known as the social media age.
I often don't have time to catch up with friends on FaceTime or in person, yet my 10 minutes of Internet time give me glimpses into the fascinating lives all of my friends (real and only on Facebook) are living.
I get to enter the crazy dorms at University of Iowa and experience downtown Milwaukee restaurants with the click of a button. Those late night study sessions before midterms and finals? I get to see the Snapchat of your sleep-deprived face with a 3:02 am text image posted on top of it.
And don't even get my started on all of the posts from girls who rushed the past 2 weeks… While I respect that these girls have finally found their “homes” and their “sisters” I am finding it harder and harder to believe that after 18-19 years of "struggle" you are now finally #blessed.
I've been back at college for nearly a month, and I haven't posted a single thing on Instagram or Facebook. And despite a few stories about the deer I keep running into on campus, my Snapchat has been pretty empty as well. Contrasted to the rest of my college counterparts, am I somehow missing my college experience because I'm not cataloging every single moment of it?
This question leads me to ponder the ironic relationship between college/life experiences and social media.
Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoy getting to see what all my friends from home have been up to these last couple weeks. I just worry that in the face of so many societal pressures, we are more concerned with creating an image of what our lives should be then actually living said lives.
The past couple weeks of school have been great so far. I’ve settled into my awesome job at the Oneota Food Co-op, my classes are super interesting (and also a LOT of work) and I am thoroughly enjoying Decorah, despite the monsoon-type rains and flooding.
And while I might not be giving everyone live updates on my life, I think I can honestly say that I'm feeling #blessed.