Instagram photos, Facebook updates, twitter tweets; all these things take up a vast majority of our lives nowadays. These social media sites as well as a grand deal of others such as Flikr and tumbler have taken the mendacity of a bowl of cereal to the level of being liked by 4,392,834 people. Why? Why do we all of a sudden care so much about the mendacity of breakfasts? Did we always care and just not have an outlet for it? Well, that is what sociology is trying to decipher somewhat; what is the importance of this thing called ‘everyday life’?
Let’s start off on the right foot shall we? With a definition:
Everyday – (in sociological terms) is that which is neither catastrophic nor celebratory; essentially, the small things we do everyday (surprise).
Leading on from this, everyone loves a good example so let’s have at it. In my experience, ‘everyday life’ consists of showering, brushing my teeth, have more than one coffee and checking my Feedly. Uni classes I suppose fall in there somewhere as well, but I don’t go to them everyday AND when uni isn’t on I don’t go at all. So where does one draw the line at what is classified as everyday life? In the lecture I attended for Week 2, the lecturer said that “this is not about what celebrities do everyday” and I instantly thought, “well… why not?” I am more than certain that they wake up and do regular things; they drink coffee and shower (I hope) obviously she must have meant the fact that they don’t go to a job regularly or have a “regular” lifestyle. But to what definition then do you classify “regular”? That lifestyle of the not so constant 9-5-office job might not be regular for you, but it is regular for someone. My everyday life differs greatly from the everyday life of a 25-year-old woman in Uganda; even that of someone who has a different job than me. To say that someone isn’t included in the ‘everyday life’ category is a bit ridiculous I am now realizing. Even though what fills their day might not be what fills my own, doesn’t make their everyday better or worse than my own. It is this that defines us, yes, but it doesn’t declassify us from having one.
I suppose you could pull one example from that of the current Hugh Jackman; the fact that he takes his children to school everyday on the train because he wants them to have a ‘normal’ life. What makes this ‘normal’? By definition; he is doing that which (I assume, not being one myself) a lot of parents do everyday. Ensuring their children arrive safely at school, thus ensuring their education and future. Watching out for them as they travel in the dangerous outside world of Sydney. On the other hand; we have the people who post CONSISTENTLY everyday the exact same picture of their weird looking oatmeal with the hash tags of “clean eating” “everyday” etc. specifically the tag “everyday” is what I think we should focus on here; you can literally type into any search bar on any social media site (besides Facebook, I think) and have millions of photos come up, of “everyday” occurrences all over the world. Now; ofcourse you can be famous on Twitter or Instagram, (let’s look at this through my lecturers eyes) and now does this assumed fame make their everyday lives less important? The fact that it is portrayed across various social media sites and the world? I don’t really think it does personally. I think social media has given us a new window (literally) to a world where we might not have had access to before; social media gives sociology anybody a new way of experiencing other people’s lives. It allows us not only to see what other people are experiencing day to day, but realizing how each of us really aren’t different to the other (insert lengthy rant on thoughts of modernity and the industrialized age). I think people often assume that the world has become less connected overall due to the fact that the Internet has “disconnected” us from traditional social outlets and compressed us into a world where there is no “true” social connection (whatever the hell that means). I think though that the internet has provided us a way of becoming a smaller world overall; it has helped us connect with other people all over the world as part of our everyday life and show that ‘everyday’ isn’t as pigeon holed a definition as first assumed.