Real Life

Thoughts, anyone?

I’m usually a proponent of the “communication crisis” theory regarding the impact of social media and smartphones on society–the idea that although we have hundreds of new ways to connect, we are more lonely than ever because we’re interacting behind computers and cell phones way more than in person. The paradox–that although we have so many new ways to interact, we are less and less comfortable interacting in person; we are less intimate–is apparent. Today, however, my cousin brought a social media bromance to my attention that made me question, if only for a moment, my theory. He and his brother, a thirteen year old rascal with a huge following on Vine, have been pranking each other and filming it since he got home for break. Their pranks have been pretty funny, with my personal favorite being Alex replacing the icing in an Oreo with toothpaste. Alex and his brother have never been that close, so this pranking is bringing them together in a weird, leveling-the-playing-field sort of way. I’m not going to completely disregard my theory, but I do think I need to add on to it. Social media is also changing the way we interact and what we define as intimate. It is allowing us to joke around from across the world by creating silly snap chats and using ironic hashtags. We can now create our own “Candid Camera” pranks and publish them online in seconds. It’s sort of like the newspaper industry: I know that social media is drastically changing the way we interact, but I’m not sure what those changes will look like long-term, and I don’t know if anyone can accurately predict that.

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