Earlier tonight I shared a song on Facebook. It was an action that I have done, most likely, a hundred times. Sometimes I’ll add a little quip and sometimes I’ll let the song stand on itself. But tonight after I had finished my task I saw it sitting there on my newsfeed, sitting over three “retweets” two links to funny pictures and a recipe from Pintrest. I then began to wonder, “Do we deserve our minds?”
Even though I spent four years playing trumpet in middle school and high school, I am not a musician. I can’t piece together notes to create something that captivates and moves, but maybe I could someday. I could take the time to learn the various skills it takes to make a song. Unfortunately, I haven’t done this. Instead I present the work of others. I try and justify it by telling myself that I’m simply trying to share something I like with others. While this may be true, it’s not the whole story. I do it because I hope that in someway, my choice in songs will reflect on me. I hope that the endeavors of others will define me and based on the volume of “shared” content I see on a daily basis, I don’t think I’m alone here.
Now, I may be completely off-track here. I actually hope I am. But assuming that I’m not, what does this say about us? Have we lost our ability to utilize our brains to create our own content to share? I’d like to think we haven’t, but I’m worried that we may have. Perhaps I’m just looking at the wrong forum, but when these “shared” things outnumber actual original statements on my Facebook news feed, I can’t help but worry.
There was a feeling I had back in my younger years. The internet was still new to me and most of the people around me. Friends of mine were making websites. Sure they were rudimentary at best but they were theirs. We were all taking up arms on message boards, screaming highly inaccurate things, but we were passionate about it. Then myspace hit. Suddenly we were taking far too much time picking the perfect profile song, layout, background and graphics. None of which we made ourselves. But at the very least we were using these pieces to form something that we could claim as our own, like digital Lego. Myspace still exists of course and it’s fun to go back and look at the remnants of these 2-d sculptures, but it feels more like a museum than anything else. If you want something more current, you’re stuck with Facebook, which while incredibly useful, is incredibly uniform, and the words and pictures are simply other’s, without any shaping of our own hands.
As I write this, my stance has shaken. I’m most likely being too hard and narrowminded on the state of my generation. I can accept that. In fact, I’m forced to, since I have retweeted something during the time it’s taken me to write this. So instead of ending this with some grand conclusion as if I’m at a debaters podium, I’ll say this: Maybe we shouldn’t “share” so much, except for this blog. Share this.