Featured in EZWay Magazine’s Winter 2020 Issue
By Kendra Muecke
How has social media impacted the way my mind interacts with its environment? I pose this question to myself, as I look down, noticing that I am in the midst of opening the Instagram app on my phone. It’s become a mode of autopilot. I find myself simply opening up the app to have it sit idle there, peeking up at me from the right-side corner of my desk. I’m attracted to the blue light, the connection, the knowing that other people are out there living their lives too. I live vicariously through their posts, as they do live vicariously through me. Bobbing back and forth, what are we looking for? Observation? Validation? Customers? Fans? Commiseration? A like for a like? True relationships?
So, it begs to ask the question, does this constant flow of social information create a cultural bond between my fellows and I? Does it create a shared knowing that I, too, am a person who likes to be ‘liked’? And for that, what are we sharing in? The cliché of scratching one’s back, so they can scratch mine, comes to mind. Yet, there is more… For, in a day and age where I know exactly where each of my ‘friends’ are, and for how long they are there, and what they are wearing, and who they are with — my mind, my psyche starts to project a piece of me into that reality they have posted about. For all intents and purposes, I am in Miami, FL enjoying Art Basel from right here at Priscilla’s Coffee Shop in Burbank, CA.
It’s a bit mind-melding — that social media has become a very large form of our association with one another. It’s how we interact as an extension of our community. We may meet in person, but how we really get to know one another is online then maybe again in person to establish a personal bond beyond the confines of technology. It’s like when everyone got a phone in their house; I could talk with you in public about the weather, but when I got home to my respective house and you to your’s, then I could really drop you the juicy details. The barrier of a landline could arguably make me feel more open, because you were now a part of my home-life. That’s how I feel social media has opened our interactions. I see updates about my ‘friends’ from my computer at home or from my phone on the go; people I may have never really known before are now important to my news-feed. Thus, they are important to me too.
It makes sense, we used to just catch up with one another at family reunions or monthly PTA meetings, but now, we do so on our Facebook walls. ‘Tammy has checked-in to Indonesia.’ ‘Ricardo created a new work-out playlist.’ ‘Amanda was promoted in-house and got a raise.’ I share in those victories that my friends post about on their social media profile. I find I have become emotionally invested in their day to day experience, and I am thankful when they do the same for me. From my perspective, the expansion of social interaction due to technological advancement and social media has brought us all closer together. Even through political rants and an exponential amount of selfies, I am still happy to know what you had for dinner and that your youngest made honor-roll.
Kendra Muecke is a singer/songwriter, writer, poet, actress, healer, & published author based in Los Angeles, CA. Kendra performs as a musician under the stage name “Kendra & the Bunnies”. She has released two albums, published two books, and graduated with a BFA in Theatre Arts from Pepperdine University in 2015. She also studied in the Independent Artist Program at the Musicians Institute in 2019. She is currently writing her third book and recording her third album. She performs as “Kendra & the Bunnies” nationally.
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