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Is Social Media Ruining Our Lives?

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An average morning for me normally starts with me turning off my alarm that conveniently happens to be on my iPhone- so instantly this gives me an opportunity to check all my social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat …. You get the point. But for some reason I can’t stop doing this robotic routine , it almost feels like it is engraved in my brain that I have to see how many likes I got on my picture or I wonder if anyone has texted me, or just seeing what others are doing in their lives, you see every like, every instant message, every new post that appears on my feed is a dopamine rush – All the enjoyment of interacting with friend and family without -you know- being anywhere near them . Sadly I know i am not the only one who has this robotic behavior. Most of this generation is glued to the internet, when we are on our phones we have the same chemical addiction running through us as people who are maybe addicted to cigarettes or alcohol. We literally carry an addiction in our pockets daily. IPhone, Android, iOS, Windows – it’s all the same, the ironic thing is that over time we have become slaves to the technology we mastered in the first place , The truth is , were so much more interested in “connecting “ that we seem to neglect actually connecting. So is social media ruining our lives?

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As a youth today I actually can’t remember a time that social media and progressive technology wasn’t on this planet, but I’d like to think before there was an eruption of advertising apps and social media platforms opening their doors to everyone , there was a time that kids went outside played sports hanged out, made their own fun using their own imaginations to come up with ideas , and when families went out for dinner at a restaurant they talked about their day , look around you now you’re more likely to see a group of kids virtually hanging out but seem to not communicate they would rather bury their heads into the pixel world within their phones. Ironically humans are naturally social animals and have always craved the affection, recognition, and respect of their peers. But social media appear to have disposed of this- and not in a good way. These platforms allow us to build networks vaster than anything we can handle in the real world, and cram much more interactions into our daily lives that would otherwise be actually possible.

Conversely our social addictions do not just feed our basic needs – they distract us from the finest moments, as well. I could not account the amount of times I have been to a concert and seen multitudes of people holding up their phones, recording videos to send to their friends. You’re probably guilty of it yourself – I know I am. It is like our lives are all so important that everyone needs to know how much fun you’re having. Do we need video evidence to show we attended that moment at that time? Is our own memories not enough? How could you remember you saw something amazing if all you did was watch it through your phone screen? If there was an opportunity to tell my entire generation something ! It would be to stop stressing about documenting their lives and start living them through their own eyes because i guarantee they will have so much more enjoyment remembering being at the moment, rather than showing a video and remembering how much you stressed about the lighting, the quality, the fact your arm was getting sore from the amount of time you were trying to stable your arm.

Apparently the average person spends four years of their life looking down at their phone and all I’m suggesting is this generation should start to look up and live their life because if they don’t they might regret it. Nevertheless, there are many more factors to how social media is affecting our lives, have you ever thought of when you are posting on these “platform” that post is out there for all to see. It might not be a huge deal to post a picture of you and your dog after a long day work, but there are some posts and picture that can ruin opportunities for people. That one rant with vulgar language about the police, or the one crazy party you went to can be seen by people you wish hadn’t seen them. When time comes to applying for a job, internship, apprenticeship, or even a sports team, a boss or coach can simply research a name and see those rather deterring posts. This will affect your future opportunities as an employer may find it inappropriate the image you are spreading for the company this will only make you not desirable for a position.

An additional point to this controversy is without a doubt in anyone’s mind the biggest issue with social media is cyber bullying. Cyberbullies have the ability bully someone without interacting with them in real life, this platform gives them the freedom to say what they want as they can’t physically see the hurting they vomit onto their victims. It seems a “touchy” topic as it seems getting tougher to spot this type of bullying as it can be appeared to be sarcastic or just messing around with the person, when the reality is this is a direct attack. Similarly, you probably don’t know this but you troll, perhaps without even knowing it, until the moment the unofficial leader of the opposition and chief tormentor of Piers Morgan, the ex-England footballer Gary Linekers Twitter experience wasn’t always so pleasant. Any time he would tweet, anyone who disagreed with him -and with an astonishing 5.6m follower, sometime this the result was 1,000 or more people commenting “sh*t on pitch” a reference to an unfortunate event in the opening match of the 1990 world cup in Italy when Gary, well you know what happened at this point. As trolling goes, it is mild and Let’s be honest the first few times seemed slightly funny, but doing that – or other malicious trolling – looks like you are “ that idiot”, look back at your old tweets.

Anything a bit trollish? Then the chances are somebody out there thinks you’re and idiot, but in reality you’re probably a good person just the way you put yourself on social media give us all the chance to judge you by one tweet. All in all i am not saying to dispose of your social media accounts, I’m saying next time your out with friend or family or walking down the street, try to refrain from scrolling through your news feed. Make an effort to step out your digital world, and step into the virtual world you are physically living in, and become more familiar with faces than profile picture, Just maybe if we look up and away from the flashing images and colors on most recent safari searches, we would actually enjoy the company of those around us, instead of counting numbers of likes, count the memories in your life. As Ferris Bueller puts it “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

03 December 2019

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