Is Social Media controlling our lives?

How much time do you spend on social media everyday? Do you often check your mobile phone and track your friend’s new update when you open eyes in the morning or before you fall asleep? Are you an active user of those social media apps? Can you imagine the life without social media? It may be unacceptable but social media is controlling our lives.

Since social media started being popular, our perceptions changed. Many Facebook and Instagram users update just for receiving ‘like’ from others. We validate ourselves from this kind of online popularity. It is very common to see that people spend lots of time to choose a filter to make us look more beautiful before updating a selfie. After we uploading the picture, we start to wait for other people’s ‘like’. If we do not get enough likes, we may even take it down. Also, if anyone leaves bad comments on our selfie, some of us will delete that photo although they really like it. We lose self-perceptions and we care too much about what others say. We also follow some celebrities on social media and believe what they post online. We may copy their lifestyles. However, have you think about that how those celebrities or people we followed behave in reality? Is everything we seen is true?

Excessive use of social media may cause addiction, especially among young people. I notice that many people including myself often check mobile phones frequently, waiting in a queue or traveling on the tube. I do not know why and we just spend too much time on social media without any particular purpose. I admit that I am a social media addict and I can not live without social media. Every time I receive notifications and if there is a red badge on apps icon, I will click on it immediately. Then, I can’t control myself to quit it and I just keep tracking new release. Sometimes I was doing my assignment and this always caused procrastination. I still remember once I left my phone at home and went out, I felt worried, anxious and lonely. I felt I have missed out everything and I worried if any of my friends trying to get in touch with me. Also, study shows that social media addiction affects mental and physical health. It will lead to lower self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Before social media emerges, we often communicate with parents and enjoy family time. Now, we care more about what is happening online. It can often been seen at my home that we focus on own mobile phone, read articles we are interested, watch videos or refresh pages. My parents and me sit together around the tea table with only few communications and I have got used to it.

I totally agree that social media is a great medium to share information and interact with others. However, we can’t deny the fact that social media has ruled our daily life and changed our behaviours. We can also not ignore the influence that social media is having on young people. What we need to do is to exert control over social media we use instead being controlled by it.