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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

KELLY: Dance like no one’s tweeting

Mindlessly surfing the Internet the other day, I came across this quote: “Dance like the photo’s not tagged. Love like you’ve never been unfriended. Tweet like nobody’s following.”

This clever twist on a relatively common saying reflects technology’s prevalence in our lives.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized what the above quote says about our generation and our relationship with technology.

The original saying, which I can recite from memory because I’ve seen it as a Facebook status or in someone’s profile roughly 5,246 times, reads: “Dance like no one’s watching. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like no one’s listening.”

The person who wrote the revised one (I can’t remember where I first saw it) has modernized the saying, emphasizing just how embedded in social media our lives have become.

Instead of watching someone dance in person, we see his or her tagged pictures on Facebook.

Hearing someone sing in public is akin to reading Twitter posts.

Not only are we now exposed to an exponentially larger group of people’s lives, but what we see on the Internet about them — and us — is permanent.

Moments no longer happen in the present and are lost to the past.

No, instead they’re preserved forever, in online photo albums, tweets, text messages and e-mails.

It’s simultaneously delightful and terrifying.

Not long ago, you experienced only your own life. When you were sitting in class, teachers and classmates were the extent of your world.

This is no longer the case. With stuff like Twitter, texting and picture mail, our phones connect us with billions across the globe.

Sure, you might be physically sitting in a classroom, but really you’re texting your buddy from home, tinkering with your fantasy football lineup and getting breaking news from

This, of course, is awesome. (How cool is it to be able to see the world through the eyes of someone on the other side of the planet? Or to stay in touch with friends abroad?)

But these developments are not without drawbacks.

Now, there’s always this feeling of déjà vu surrounding our lives. A vague sense of “where have I seen this before?”

A friend tells a joke, and you rack your brain to remember where you heard it.

Someone tells a story of his or her night, and you can’t remember if you were there. Wall posts, tagged pictures and real-life experiences blend into one blob of reality.

And we’re moving in a direction requiring not only less face-to-face interaction, but even any voice contact at all.

Consider: I’ll routinely have my phone on me for days at a time without making an actual phone call.

Not that I don’t use it— the opposite, actually. I’ll be on it nonstop, checking e-mail, texting, reading stuff online, watching videos — everything but what the actual name of the device says it does.

It’s crazy to me to think about how fast we’re moving forward with technology.

Ten years ago it seemed like a rarity to have a cell phone. Today, you’re behind the times if your phone isn’t “smart.”

While the “smartening” of our phones may not necessarily be dumbing us down, it’s something to consider.

We’re pressing forward with this technology thing at a frenetic pace.

So it’s worth thinking about where we’re coming from in order to understand how all this social media and instantaneous communication impacts our lives, how it shapes our worldview and where we take it from here.

Though you may not notice it all the time, everything’s changing, for better and for worse.

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