Writer: Lamia Gamil
On Monday, October 4th, 2021, there was a sudden global outage on all Facebook-affiliated social media platforms (along with a few others), yet what was particularly alarming was the number of posts being made about how people were essentially crippled during this period. We are constantly on our phones either working, texting, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.
While I do believe that social media has played an important role in helping us connect with the world and ease our lives, it has also now become more harmful than ever. Yes, technology did connect us virtually, but at the cost of detaching us physically and emotionally from one another. So many of us care so deeply about sharing our every moment with others and garnering internet points, that we forget to even enjoy the moment and the company of those around us.
Think about it: the first thing we do when we wake up is scroll through our phones. The first thing that comes to our mind when we do something fun is to take pictures for your Instagram. Whenever we travel, receive bad news, get promoted, or even get a new pet, we have to post and let the whole world know about it. We have a “fear of missing out” that causes us to check our phones very often. It’s like a drug. We became so addicted to it that we can no longer live without it.
You might think that quitting smoking or drugs is extremely stressful and hard, but what we don’t realize is that trying to quit social media is equally as hard! Yes, that’s how pressing our dependence on social media has become.
A clear example of social media addiction is people using their phones even when they’re with other people. You see people gathered around a table, yet all of them are glued to a screen and not enjoying their time together. It’s sad that we’ve forgotten how to communicate with other people in real life, and have become so impatient and intolerable.
Moreover, we’re being bombarded with so much news on a daily basis to the point that keeping up with it all has become a burden. You might be thinking “Wow, this is a bit of an exaggeration, isn’t it?,” and honestly, I would’ve said the same thing a week ago. However, after that social media outage, I realized the true severity of this issue modern society is facing at the moment.
Social media is important and infinitely useful, yet too much of anything is harmful. We are overdosing on social media, and what do drug overdoses cause? Severe mental health issues and sometimes death. Social media is not any different.
I believe it’s time to take a break and enjoy our lives, to care more about real friends than likes, to live the moment instead of post about it, and last but not least, to connect physically with each other and take in the beauty of the real world around us.
To sum it up, we need to strike a balance when it comes to social media usage in order to preserve the social nature of mankind. In light of this, we must limit our time on social media; instead of checking your notifications first thing in the morning, do some morning stretches.
When going out, put your phones on airplane mode and enjoy your time with the people around you. These small steps really make a difference to one’s well being and productivity. Moreover, it’s important to find balance in everything we use in our lives, be it old technology or the innovations sure to come.