Modern Darwinism

Text by Nic Damasio
Photos by Hannah Carpenter

           It’s almost that time of year, when young twenty somethings and teens (with false identification) of all ages dip into their parents’ funds to journey away from their respective campuses for a week away from school. The ironically named holiday, spring break, is a chance for amphetamine-worshipping college students to ignore their responsibilities with drug and alcohol induced memories they’ll most likely never remember. Luckily for our generation and few remaining brain cells, our Lord and Savior, Steve Jobs invented technology and social media; to ensure recollection of what our brains cannot, but more importantly to impress those lucky enough to follow us on varying social media outlets.  
           Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, we all have them. If for some reason you are a defector of one or all of these, you are a questionable pariah. Not only in the eyes of your peers, but professionals who know what they are talking about. Employers tend to assume the person, if you can even call them that, had so much offensive material they had to delete their account. Psychiatrists believe this absence from social media a reflection of an unhealthy social life. 

           There is a social media for every possible situation. Twitter is a medium for the stream of thoughts or voices in your head that need out. Instagram is the realm where we are no longer restricted by the fascist square crop to share our vacation photos with our favorite filters (if you’re basic and don’t use a separate editing app.) Snapchat has eliminated the fear that everything on the internet is permanent thanks to it disappearing from everyone but the NSA’s screens after twenty four hours. Spotify allows us to creepily see what embarrassing music friends are listening to even though they claim ‘they share an account with their sister.’ 

           The issue with these varying platforms of self-advertising/boasting is which medium to use for a specific piece of media. Example: you just took the best selfie you’ll ever take in your life thanks to the happenstance lighting or Kim K’s patent pending LuMee phone case. How do you proceed? Do you save it to your camera roll, delete it from snap and put it up on another social media? Or is the selfie so flawless you feel it warrants the trifecta post to Snap, Facebook, and Insta with a caption along the lines of, ‘when (relatable life event happens.)’

          When asked which social media pedestal she utilizes for display and recognition, Marketing Communications and Writing Literature & Publishing senior Capri DeBiccari, had this to say,

“For me, my Facebook friends are people that I know, and I have more Instagram followers that I don't know. The people who don't know me that follow me on Insta won't care that I'm hanging out with Nic Damasio, but if I post it on Facebook people will think I'm cool.”

There is a lot more thought and planning that goes into a single post than most people choose to believe.

           Being raised with technology, we have become digital natives. If we have a profound or hilarious thought, our brains are able to differentiate if it should be put on Facebook for friends and family, Twitter if it’s under 140 characters, or even Yik Yak if you’re trying to keep your genius on the dl. The baby boomers and gen-X’s probably find this skill useless and would rather we know how to change a tire or fill out a tax form (whatever the hell that is.) Darwin would applaud us if he were alive today and say we have added a new instinct to the list. We have developed and adapted a millennial instinct. 

          This innate behavioral skill, this intrinsic knowledge, is more than just an ability to create a fleeting social media post; it is the next step in modern evolution.