I quite like social media, I like the news, I like to hear about what going on in the world and the lives of friends, family and acquaintances. I like to share in the journeys of all those people. In good times I feel like on an adventure with you and at other times grieve with you.
I think for the most part many of us enjoy the advancements in media/technology that allow us to be more aware of the world and the lives of people around us. Does it make you feel that your part of it too? I think in part this is what we love about it, we are part of the action.
While I was browsing my Facebook feed I came across a picture that got me thinking about this idea of being a part of the action. The picture urged me to “click like, if I would” displaying a picture of a large roller coaster. I think the idea being that if I feel I would like to ride the coaster then I would click like.
To the savvy social media user, they would know this is simply “click trawling” using agreeable low risk material to get a “like”. The more likes an image/page gets; the Facebook engine is more likely to show it and increase in popularity. After a while of gleaning likes etc. etc. the poster sells the combined popularity to a company to be re-branded and used to market their new product to the popular bubble that was initially created.
“Click trawling” aside it did get me thinking about why do we want to “click like” to this picture in the first place?
What about a similar image urging you to click like if you would like to swim in a beautiful part of the ocean with crystal clear water surrounded by trees, ferns, and colourful flowers?
Another one urging you click like if you would ride the water slide with a big splash at the bottom, or perhaps an exciting looking ramp into a large pool of water?
Could it be that we see these images and feel we want to be a part of the action it describes.
Perhaps these images make us feel that we may never experience the images they portray. Someone had to get the image in the first place. But do we feel that by seeing these images, dreaming of those experiences and those who’ve been there before, that we never will? Do we now live through some of these experiences via our screens in lost hope we may never experience it in real life?
In many ways I am reflecting on my own experiences of life. You see, to me, these activities and encouragements are not so much in the realm of “what if” rather a when. Sure some of these I may never actually do, but some I certainly will and have done already.
I have lived in many towns, walked/hiked, drove, 4WDed, explored, toured, camped, hoteled; and did you know there are life experiences like these images all around us?
The pristine waterfall and swimming hole at the end of a fire trail in the Kosciusko National Park. A visit to a theme park at the QLD Gold Coast. Beaches as far as they eye can see, Australia is surrounded by them. Forests, creeks, tropical, dry, walk or ride. The old gold mining ruins only 45min away.
And you know what, you don’t have to spend big $$ to have these experiences. Have a look locally, go exploring, you will find the most amazing things and they were hiding in plane sight.
Go out, don’t live the life of others, don’t pine for that experience, don’t live in their shadow. Pack a picnic, take public transport and go on an adventure. Sure get ideas from social media, but don’t let that stop of you experiencing the wonder, beauty and the tapestry of life that is all around us.
I want to encourage you to think about these images and how they encourage us. Do they encourage us in a way that causes us to retreat from life? Or do they encourage us to get out there and have real experiences?