My parents are on vacation this week. But you would never know that, because my mom didn’t update her Facebook status.
She didn’t Instagram her new swimsuit and flip flops on her bed while packing.
She didn’t tweet and ask for restaurant recommendations.
She didn’t blow up my Pinterest feed with tropical images.
She just up and left for her vacation.
Did she really fly there? She didn’t post a picture in the airport with her Starbucks.
Is she even on a beach? I didn’t see her toes in the sand or her sipping on a Margarita larger than her head.
I didn’t see her hashtag “paradise” “vacay” or “nevercominghome” on any social media channel.
What did she wear all week? I didn’t see her #ootd or shoes she wore to dinner with her LBD.
What did she eat? I saw no tweets to the restaurants thanking them for their superb service or pictures of her dinner from an aerial view.
I don’t know if she went dancing, snorkeling, or shopping, because she didn’t “check-in” at every location she went to.
She didn’t stop to say “WAIT! Let me take a picture of that!” when in the middle of an amazing sunset on the beach.
Since I haven’t seen her activity on social media, I can only assume she’s doing what we used to do before cell phones came with the Internet on them. She must be enjoying her vacation. She must be taking pictures that she won’t post until she gets back or maybe won’t post at all, and enjoying every single minute of it.
It’s hard to imagine a life before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. How did we communicate? Oh I don’t know, maybe we picked up the phone? Or we signed on AIM to chat with our friends instead of stalk them on our newsfeed.
We never had to worry if our outfit was “Instagram or Pinterest worthy” because the only people that saw it were our friends.
We didn’t see our old significant others moving on right in front of our faces as they changed their relationship status on Facebook.
We didn’t scroll Instagram at dinner or “just respond to one email”.
We were just in the moment. And it makes me sad that our generation will only know this fast paced and almost competitive life in which we compare ourselves to what we see on someone else’s Facebook or Instagram feed. That we will pin houses we will never own and envy new cars that people buy. That unless we kept in touch with these people in-real-life (IRL), we would have know idea.
I hope to keep my kids young for as long as I can and introduce them to the Internet only when it’s a necessity. But even now, kids these days need tablets for homework and projects. What happened to a whiteboard being the new and exciting thing in the classroom? Or a computer lab with Mavis Beacon Learns to Type?
Our world is changing and the Internet seems to be more and more at the center of it. Everything has a hashtag from concerts to sporting events to fundraisers. We sit behind our phones and computers and live our life through them, instead of paying more attention to the details around us.
I’m not saying I’m not guilty of any of this, because I totally I am. I love social media, perhaps even a little too much. But it saddens me to know that this lifestyle is something the older generations don’t understand and dare I say, didn’t need to experience. Because instead of playing games on their cell phones, they played games in their backyards. And instead of shopping on Instagram, they grabbed a friend and made a day out of a trip to the mall.
But can we live without it now? How do you go backwards when everything else around you moves forward?
My mom didn’t post any Instagram worthy pictures, because she doesn’t have one. And she only uses Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family once a day, if that. She didn’t get 100 likes on a picture of a sunset or get a free appetizer for checking-in on FourSquare at a restaurant.
But she probably had a wonderful vacation with my Dad. She was probably extremely relaxed and truly soaked up the time she had there. She probably enjoyed every single minute of it and didn’t give a rats behind what everyone else was doing back at home.
But I won’t know until she gets back. And she picks up the phone to call me.