Social media is an accelerating advancement in technology. In this day it is being used by individuals, start-ups and corporates for different purposes. There are different platforms or websites where people can create personal profiles, share pictures, videos and text updates to their families, peers and people from all over the world. Trending news, videos, picture and just about anything else can go viral in a matter of hours, which makes you wonder what all of the craze is about?
The way technology is growing, it is obvious that more and more people are going to grasp its benefits. It has brought a lot of advantages for the society as a whole. From advanced nations to underdeveloped countries, almost every nation is utilizing the power of social media to enhance lives. Even the presence of Donald Trump on social media has attracted attention worldwide since he joined Twitter in March 2009. However, on the other end this social media frenzy has also affected society in a negative way. Just like anything which can be used for both good and bad, social media platforms have also provided negative and positive ways for the people. As an individual who is heavily involved in the tech industry, particularly web services and their related fields, I actually help businesses grow their online presence by fully utilizing social media ,therefore this has helped me really experience the impacts of social media both as a user and an advocate for its use.However,in this article I am not addressing the pros and cons of social media, but rather discussing about things you should consider in order to control your social media addiction.
What is addiction though? According to Lifewire. "Social networking addiction is a phrase sometimes used to refer to someone spending too much time using Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media so much so that it interferes with other aspects of daily life” .First thing when you wake up,do you check your social media accounts for updates? Do you sometimes refresh your mobile data when you see messages not coming through for more than thirty minutes? When you are bored or lonely, do you go on Instagram to see what’s going on with other people, then feel worse afterwards, because they got it all together and you don’t? Do you feel the need to share all those perfect pics/selfies with your followers? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then my friend you are addicted or at least on the road to addiction. Let’s talk about it!
Ours has been called the phenobarbital age, the age of ulcers and nervous breakdowns. At a time when the advent of modernity has propelled the world to its best time ever documented, far too many of us have become the captives of technological advancements, in this case, social media. Understanding the human psychology could help accelerate understanding one’s reaction to social media platforms. Human biology always promotes the minimisation of effort and maximisation of time and value. This then explains why it is easy to sustain a texting conversation with thousands of words exchanged between the recipients and yet when it comes to old fashioned people skills, one shy’s away and runs out of words to say. This is the flaw that breeds and develops within our uncontrolled usage of social media. Unsavoury tendencies such as anti-socialism and shorthand spellings have started to sprout with the advent of these platforms. A user can have a million friends on Facebook and could easily pass the majority of them on the street without as so much as greeting them. This is really the announcement of hypocrisy at an epic scale that shows and clearly demonstrates that one’s social media persona and one’s real life persona can be 180 degrees in opposing directions.
It is fascinating how the mind can be unconsciously obsessed with posing for a selfie (with countless retakes in between to capture that one amazing photograph) and yet the underlying reason for the entire exercise would not be to capture a beautiful moment in time but rather to see how many likes the online congregation can donate their way. Sentimental value for precious life moments is now being traded for the perception of being famous. Social skills are now in decline due to the anonymity that social platforms afford their subscribers. People tend to compare themselves to assess strengths, weaknesses, abilities and perspectives. Reaffirming their social connections makes them feel good.
Questions to reflect upon
- Have my followers/friends converted to real friends/business connections/clients?
- Can I post a picture, not get likes and still feel perfectly fine about myself?
- Great, I am a slay king/queen on Instagram, am I slaying in real life?
- Do I need to be on every social media platform?
- Is it necessary to share this? Will it add value to my life and for other people?
As a last note, it is worth recounting the following sentiments echoed by Lama Yeshe, “It would be wonderful if you could recognize that your own attachment is the cause of every single problem that you experience.” Just so you know, social media companies bank on your addiction to increase usage and make money, so do not think they will take an action to help curb your addiction.From a tech-junkie to fellow techies, social media is both a blessing and a curse, use it moderately, and do not let it use you. Try exploring being human,embrace precious moments,have actual conversations,get bored and be creative! Live!