In a world where people strive for likes on social media, where cyber-bullying exists, where there is the constant need to check notifications, people are becoming more and more obsessed with the online world.
If I kept note of the amount of time I spent on my laptop or my phone on social media, I think I would be shocked. What was it like before the time of iPhones, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram?
At 21 years old, I can barely remember a time without all of this technology, and I find that a bit scary. Our online-selves are out there for the world to see, and it’s now become such a mundane, ordinary thing. Even as I’m writing this blog post, I’m thinking about who might read it, and whether I’m okay with that.
The truth is, our online profiles are barely in our control nowadays. As a society, we are different to how we were twenty years ago. There is constant pressure to get more likes, to look a certain way, to have more friends or followers or connections. It’s a race, a competition, an online world of virtual personalities.
And I don’t like it.
Yet, here I am, contributing to it. Hypercritical, right?
Social media has become so warped into our day-to-day lives that it has somehow become our day-to-day lives. If I were to delete my profiles and revert back to a black-and-white Nokia (which I have, believe it or not, been tempted to do), I’d feel like I’d miss out on so much.
“What are my friends doing? Won’t I miss out on invitations? How will I make new friends? How will I stay in touch?”
Realistically, I could renounce all social media and step away from it all – form a simpler, more human-connected life. Anyone could. I mean, how hard is it to call up a friend and actually speak to them, rather than watching their latest Instagram story to catch up on what they’ve been up to?
However, I don’t think I could do it. Call me addicted, but I just don’t think I could. Ask anyone my age and I bet you’d probably find that most people would think the same. I’d feel isolated, like I was locked in a cabin in the middle of the woods – no connections, no on-going conversations.
But, what I can do – and what I have been doing – is spending more time away from my phone.
I want to scroll less.
Leaving my phone in my room and not having it constantly attached to me has been somewhat of a relief. I can still chat to my friends and, yes, still catch up on social media, but it’s not so constant.
“My last tweet I made on my personal account was 12 days ago. The last photo I uploaded on Instagram was 3 weeks ago. And what I’ve realised is, I haven’t missed out.”
Social media isn’t all bad – you can find opportunities, stay in contact with people, even make a name for yourself. People have made entire businesses off of social media, become social influencers, created a lifestyle from it.
I like social media, but I also don’t.
Do you catch my drift?
I love that it enables me to have this blog, I love that I can speak to my best friend in France, I love that I can quickly catch up on what’s been happening. It’s great for job hunters like me, who can sign up to Linkedin or find out what’s happening in a particular industry.
But I’m just wanting to take small steps back to remember that I have my actual life to live, too.
What do you think?
I made a poll on Twitter: “In your opinion, do you spend too much time on social media?” And these were the results:
Feel free to leave me a comment with your opinion!