Remember the days when you couldn’t wait for the weekends because it’s the only time you were allowed to go visit your friends? Probably not coz I’m guessing not all mothers were strict like mine when growing up.
Anyway those days used to be fun, we could meet up at the hood spot and hang out for hours or go to town to window shop (coz obviously we couldn’t afford jack!), but then came social media, chatting apps, online calls and smartphones so cheap you would think they’re made of stolen parts.
In no time you couldn’t be considered ‘cool’ if you weren’t on Facebook, and you were ‘unlearned’ if you didn’t have a twitter account.
These days I rarely meet up with my pals coz hey, we can just WhatsApp and if it’s very urgent, hit me up on Skype. Is it the death of interpersonal relationships and friendships?
Too Much Time
Since no one wants to be left behind, everyone is always on the move to update their status and tell their ‘friends’, most of whom would really care less, what they’ve been up to or something that caught their attention.
This makes us caught up online during most of our free time (and office time, class time, all the time). We share and explore with people who are miles away at the expense of our friends and loved ones who are right next to us.
It’s even worse for bloggers, (don’t give me that look) because they have to spend even much more time sourcing for new items to post and gathering feedback from readers, not to forget the time needed to actually write the posts.
All this time spent to get in touch with our ‘social’ world is leaving very little time to cultivate our more important relations which are usually not in the World Wide Web.
Lots of research has been done on how social media impacts married couples. As much as the majority said it doesn’t improve their love life, those who expressed it has made them distant were more than those who said otherwise.
Kids now are like zombies with little gadgets attached to their palms and once they get into cyber space you’re not getting them back! There’s just no time for actually connecting with friends anymore.
Self-perception and Comparisons
I recently read an interesting article by Judy Gummow titled ‘7 Telltale Signs Social Media Is Killing Your Self Esteem’. It was rather sad to see the reality of how many people are being caught up in all the hype and need to showcase their “perfect” lives on social media. This is all in a desperate aim to feel important or accepted.
Strangely, people are now feeling so comfortable showing the world how messed up their lives are because of how much social media is willing to embrace narcissistic idlers.
On the other hand are the ‘perfect ones’ who constantly feel a need to remind the world how good their lives are so that they forget how in reality, they have crappy lives.
Some just want to compare themselves and prove that either their lives are better than most or they’re having it ‘badder than most’.
Now forgive me if I’m hitting too hard or stepping on someone’s toes, this obviously does not apply to everyone but just take a moment to scroll down your friend list and it will all start making sense. Take some more time to review your posts and you’ll just begin to see the truth in it.
How often do you make a post to impress someone or some people? How often do you feel a tinge of jealousy when you see an awesome post by one of your ‘friends’? How often has looking through other peoples’ timelines made you feel inferior or insecure of your look?
How often has some time spent on social media totally changed your mood, mostly for the worst? Even if your name is Barrack Obama, you can’t convince me that the answer to all these questions in never!
Caught Up In the Drama
It’s easy to get sucked into the drama and juicy gossip in social media, especially when your own real life may lack excitement or fulfillment. But this can be a dangerous game to play.
Studies have shown that Facebook fuels envy in relationships. The excessive use of the site can in fact destroy relationships by virtue of the fact that information a person would not normally share becomes public knowledge.
This leads some to desperate measures like becoming amateur private investigators as they embark on a digging expedition to locate ‘incriminating material’.
Case in point: your fiancé has just been tagged in a picture with a mysterious woman. Uh oh! Expend your energy on more worthwhile real-life pursuits which are likely to benefit, rather than impair, your self-esteem.”
As well put in that excerpt, social media can turn you into a modern day Rambo when a ‘suspicious’ post is made. A simple tag, like or comment can mean the start of a relationship or more often the end of one.
Doubts over where you have been, with whom, doing what and why, can very easily be traced from your social media, and at that instant most partners turn into world class ninjas and begin Cobra Squad like investigations, which of course, is bad for any relationship.
It’s Not That Serious
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to attack anyone or stereotype people, social media is probably one of the best things that ever happened in this generation (and probably the worst too) and I use it quite a lot myself too, but at what point is it too much?
This is no joke, people who have taken some time off the internet built more intimate relationships with people they care about. Maybe it is time that you had some ‘digital detoxification‘, take sometime to appreciate people who REALLY matter.
A million retweets or Facebook/Instagram likes is nothing when weighed against watching a toddler laugh at the funny faces you are making.
Here are a couple of signs that you are a social media junkie and you long for some ‘digital detoxification’