Why Digital-Escapism might be worse than Social Media addiction.
I love watching sitcoms. Old, new doesn’t matter. It has been the best source of entertainment for me for years. And I don’t mind losing myself into binge watching episodes of “Taxi”, “Who’s The Boss”, “Fresh off the boat” and “The Big Bang Theory”. Everyone loves watching something on Netflix, something on amazon, or any other network or Television channel. Let’s face it, our generation, like the generation before us, are hooked on entertainment. The only thing that has changed is the portability of the devices we can binge watch on. And we no longer have to wait either.
Our generation has the gifts of a global community that is closer and more interactive. But with a shorter attention span, and a weaker mind. There isn’t enough of brain cells in our head to comprehend the information explosion out there. Our attention spans are shrinking by the minute, our ability to focus on one thing at one time is deteriorating, and our real lives are getting much much more messier, as we escape into imaginary worlds.
Yep, Social Media is said to be the worst thing to happen to teenagers, or the so called Millenials. But that is only half the story. All of those who are enjoying dissing on social media for what its doing to us, we might have it all wrong. Or at least partly wrong.
Escapism is a much bigger problem we are facing even today, as we speak. People lose their minds in the perfect worlds shown in the movies, and they forget how to leave their imagination on the screen and come back to the real world, when the season is over.
Social Media is a tool that helps us connect to people and content that we love. The problem isn’t the connection, the problem is getting lost in the content itself.
I have been using social media for a long time, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, to try and promote my articles and video content. The things I find addictive is the “exciting” content people put out, rather than the network itself.
I would spend hours and hours on YouTube watching new videos by creators, new stories, and my most favorite, old sitcoms. I would spend hours on end, lost in the imaginary , otherwise perfect worlds, forgetting my own problems.
“That’s when I realized, that I was relying on online content, in order to escape from my own bland, uninteresting reality.”
In television and entertainment outlets there is an offering of a world that is perfect, there is conflict that is solved by a charming and relatable character, who you are rooting for to win, maybe because that is the least joy you can achieve from your life, which is otherwise uninteresting.
Our real lives most of the time have no such conflict, or life for us just isn’t just so straightforward and simple.
There might be no happy ending to our pursuits.
Our lives might have no alternative endings.
And that scares the shit out of most people.
Im not saying it’s wrong to enjoy a piece of entertainment, but just like booze, drugs, sugar and now “social media”, entertainment and escapism related to digital content can be as much harmful if overdone.
Our lives just go by , day by day, going to our jobs, coming back, and spending hours on end playing the new Call Of Duty game, or watching the new Netflix Show, Reading tweets and feeds from celebrities. We never realize when we cross the line and move from “casual consumers” to addicts.
Remember that no matter how much you try and lose yourselves into a scripted and well choreographed shows and movies, your life has a running script, where you hold the pen, and you don’t want the pages to be blank or boring when you die.
You need to accept that you are addicted. You might not know it. It took me months to figure it out myself. At the same time losing time on valuable tasks and opportunities I had just lying around. This article is something I have written to promise myself to sacrifice my addiction for the valuable stuff.