I'm sitting here in my bedroom on a hot and sticky summer evening after running around the city for the better part of 12 hours. Like most everyone nowadays, Twitter, Facebook and a wide array of social media platforms have become a huge part of my daily life. I check my phone way more than I should, but the combination of emails, texts, tweets and updates keep me mildly addicted to this little handheld computer. This constant, need-to-know mentality has sped up the pace of life and gets information where it needs to be quicker than every before. But the convenience social media and technology is apparently bringing us is actually ruining the XXX Olympic Games.
I knew that Phelps was going to get second in the 200 Fly going into the race, just like I knew the women's gymnastic team was going to win gold and yadda yadda yadda. How did I know all of this? Simply go online and you will be able to find out in a second. It is hard to watch our lives change before our eyes, but the four year cycle of the olympic games has allowed me to take a step back and look at just how much things have changed.
Four years ago, I did not have an iPhone, I did not have a Twitter account and I had only recently gotten a Facebook one. Tumblr may or may not have existed, Pinterest had yet to sweep middle-aged housewives across the country and things were more exciting when watching the games. Sure, you could check online to see what happened, but for the most part, anyone could avoid finding out the results until the broadcast. Yes, China did not allow Twitter or Facebook posts, but the more interesting development is reflecting at how much social media impacted our daily lives then as opposed to now.
I find myself feeding right into the system that Mark Zuckerberg and @Jack want you to. Phone integration and the emergence of direct applications have exploded over the past half decade. Our lives are becoming more and more digitalized by the day. It is like growing up, hard to notice everyday, but when you take time to reflect you can really notice just how much things have changed. Similar to growing up, some people grow faster or more than others, just like social media users become more or less popular or active.
I fear that we are entering an era of needing to know everything the minute it happens, which certainly has its benefits, so much so that things like the Olympics or World Cup will be less exciting, now that we know what happens before we have a chance to see it happen (in theory). I keep asking myself if this is a good thing.... Nine times out of ten the answer is yes, but when it comes to things that aren't life or death related, the answer seems to be no. At the end of the day, when it comes to social media, we cannot have our cake and eat it, too. Guess we will just have to suck it up and realize that our need for instant gratification can sometimes nip us in the butt.
Follow Greg Jacobs on Twitter: www.twitter.com/grecobs