The Domino Effect Of Social Media

The Domino Effect Of Social Media

When liking a picture turns into going to get the same picture for yourself.
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I am sure we have all noticed this at some point or another. One weekend, you're scrolling through social media and checking Snapchat and you spot this one picture or post that has a location tag close to your hometown, a clever caption, and a really cool picture of your friends or people you follow that makes you want to go on the same adventure or eat at the same restaurant. You inevitably try to rally a group of friends to copy-cat the outing the next weekend.

We're all guilty of it; taking a screenshot of someone's Instagram or Facebook post to send to our friends with a message along the lines of "OMG you guys! We have to do this too!" or "I want that picture on my feed and I already have a caption!" If your friends are on top of social media, you may even be the one getting the urgent message about planning next weekend's trip.

This is why scrolling through social media has become more and more of a workout for my thumbs. Not only am I scrolling and double-tapping to like a picture or typing a cute comment, but I am also clicking on the location tag and then plugging the address into the Maps app. Once I get all the information, I can screenshot the directions and send it to a groupchat of friends to find out when they want to go.

After a week of planning and deciding who will drive and coming up with certain poses for pictures and matching captions, you're ready for the new weekend. You drive all the way there or hike up a mountain for the photo-op or take the train in the city and walk to your destination prepared and excited...only to bump into a ton of people you recognize trying to get the same pictures you are.

You and your friends had never considered that other groups of friends were just as amazed and inspired by that one picture and have been planning all week and thinking of the same poses and captions you were.

With slightly less enthusiasm you wait your turn and still take the pictures you were planning and hope you can be the first to post it so yours is not lost in the sea of the same on a now boring Instagram feed.

This is the domino effect of social media; when one uniquely documented adventure that everyone envies and admires turns into a hot-spot next weekend. It's a phenomenon that I'm sure we have all witnessed, if not been a part of. I can easily list the newly turned "hot-spots" of my feed; the Ninham Fire Tower, Anthony's Nose, Hot Dippity Donuts, and Smorgasborg, as just a couple of examples.

We are so centrally located in Westchester with hundreds of hiking spots within an hour's drive; New York City, the greatest city in the world, at our fingertips with two equidistant train stations; and so many towns filled with shops and restaurants just a short drive up the Taconic to explore; but the best we can come up with is joining in on the bandwagon of spots made popular by social media.

We need to remember that it's not just the photo-op that counts, though, it's the experience and the laughter and fun spent with friends. Sure it's fun to feel super confident and excited about a certain post you make on Instagram, but what's more important is that you didn't just go to get the picture, but wanted a fun outing with friends.

What we remember is that one friend who insisted on getting milk while working through the dozen fancy donuts from Hot Dippity and went in to buy an actual quart of milk instead of a smaller, single serving container and that was hilarious in the moment. What we remember is group of thirty kids with foreign counselors waiting at the base of the Ninham Fire Tower when there were literally no cars in the single parking lot and you laugh about how they must have materialized out of thin air just to delay you and your lunch. What we remember is that it was far too windy to get the best pictures at the Peekskill waterfront and sitting in the random Baskin Robbins you found after discovering that the cute Hudson Creamery was closed. So you shouldn't feel ashamed for following certain Instagram posts around town, but these are the memories the pictures you post should represent.

Cover Image Credit: Tessa Lavan

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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