Today’s blog post is a bit different than my usual scheduled program! We had an advertising assignment to write a blog post today. I discuss how social media and the constant access to information through smart devices just might be a little too much sometimes.
I barely remember a time in my life where there was no social media. Okay, I guess I sort of do. I remember playing Sonic the Hedgehog video games on Sega Genesis after school. Before that, I don’t know…what did kids do before video games and social media? Throw a ball around at the park?…eat dirt?
I mean of course I went outside and I played my fair share of sports as a kid (until I realized I’m the least athletic person in the entire universe and decided to focus on music), but to be real with you, my first choice would have been to go inside after school and either watch TV or play video games or go on Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger back in the day).
Don’t get me wrong, I liked being outside, but usually my first instinct was to go inside and turn my brain off and zone out in front of a screen. And judging by all of the people online on MSN, I wasn’t the only one with this routine as an angsty teen. (Okay, I only had like 12 people on MSN, but that’s beside the point.)
So, there was MSN Messenger, then there was Myspace (Remember Tom?), then Facebook, then Twitter, then Snapchat. There were flip phones, then those phones with the slide-out keyboards (which, let’s be honest, those ruled), then the iPhone became thee phone to have.
I realize that this is just the way the world is going. We want information all of the time, we want to be connected all of the time, we want new ways of communicating all of the time. But in a way, I sort of miss not being connected all of the time. You know, those days when you left your house…you left your computer? You actually communicated and were in the moment with the people you were out with? Remember that? Yeah, no. Me either.
Just go to a restaurant and observe a group of friends sitting around. Guaranteed if you look long enough, all of them will check their phones multiple times. Hell, they might even take a group moment of silence (without even noticing) to all check their phones at the same time. (Yes, I’m guilty of this too. Not pointing any fingers).
But, isn’t that sort of sad? A screen is becoming more important to us than real people who are right in front of us. And I realize we don’t have malicious intent to zone out the people around us to look at our phones (unless you want to avoid awkward conversation, or you see an ex walk by and need to avoid eye contact), it’s just that our phones and social media have become a major part of our lives that we potentially spend hours of our day on it without even really realizing it.
Even if there’s nothing particularly interesting happening on Facebook or Snapchat, we check this stuff like clockwork. Okay, I shouldn’t say we are ALL addicted, but who doesn’t check their phone multiple times a day? Multiple times an hour even? I think even my grandma has an iPhone now. (All the power to ya, grandma.) What did we do when we bored before we could access our social media accounts via our mobile devices? Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, anyone?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for social media and staying connected, but I find I overuse it sometimes. And I realize no one’s forcing me to use it. Checking my social media accounts has just simply become such a routine part of my life. I personally feel better when I’m not plugged in all of the time. It’s nice to always have constant access to information or news if I need it, but I find I feel more agitated and depressed if I spend too much time a day on social media. Plus, it’s nice to just go out and be in the moment with the people you’re with. I think I personally have just become too reliant on my phone. It’s one of those things – if it’s there – why not use it? A thing that’s supposed to be “connecting” us, is sort of in a way, “un-connecting” (so gramatically correct) us. Or me. Maybe I just have no self-control. *insert emoji here* omglolz.
Here’s a little animation on YouTube about phone addiction: