…When you don’t use them properly.
Any people writing about how foolish it is to spend some time on social media would be very hypocritical. Yes, it would hypocritical because social media has taken so much importance in our modern democracies that nowadays it seems rather impossible to avoid using social media unless you have a dinosaur lifestyle.
Social media is a formidable tool to inform yourself, to communicate with relatives and share your personal experiences with the persons that count for you. Social media creates more link than every kind of media before and offered possibilities for people who shared the same interests to gather and build up relationships. It also offered a chance for people to express their talents on the web. Social media created new “jobs” and offered tremendous possibilities for Youtubers, photographers or video producers to reach success in their professional lives. Yes, social media is a real boon for our modern society when it comes to join people together and offer new possibilities to enjoy life.
Nonetheless, the major problem with social media is not so much that people use them, but rather that people abuse them. A recent survey demonstrated than more than fifty percent of the population’s first reflex was to check up their phone when they wake up , majorly for checking their Facebook news and other social media. If we are to regard social media as the new form of news’ access, one can argue that this reflex does not really differ from the habits of reading the newspaper when having a breakfast. The real problem comes from our habit to check “our” news hundreds of times every day while we really, really don’t need it. The main goal of Facebook was to gather people… it has now become the main place for comparing life and opinions.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube are all part of this new realm of “look-how-perfect-my-life-is”. Many studies have been produced and demonstrated that people where happier before they checked up their news feed… but also when they do not use social media at all. Social Media learn you to enjoy other people’s lives and make you forget to enjoy yours. People only shares the very best aspects of their life of social media, which makes the comparison with your routine necessarily depressing. They put you in this situation in which you will always want something else and never content of what you have. It gives the impression that people are close from each other while it deeply develops the exact opposite feelings in your mind… Using social media to occupy is not only a loss of time, it can be a life destroyer.
By developing a “social-media-life”, people forgets to live their real life. The “foodporn” phenomenon is one of the most striking example. Why would people share a photo of the meal they actually cooked on social media while people don’t give a shit about it? Taking the right picture, applying the right filter, writing the best hashtags, sharing the photo on three different social medias… One can argue that it only takes five minutes… I would argue that during this time, the meal has become cold and that the people waiting for eating this meal with you have become disappointed. Then it will be your turn to become disappointed as you’re realising that you only reached five “Likes” because… people really don’t give a shit about your meal.
Some might argue that waste of time on social media only applies on teenager or young adults. The awkward reality is that there are countless families suffering from the addiction to social media and the problem both comes from children and parents. Plenty of articles have been written recently, dealing with how parents sometimes prefer to spend time on social media rather than family times with their children. It is little to say that there is an urge to change these habits. Every moments spending with parents count in the education process of a young child, thus nothing justifies the use of your phone during the family diner and least of all surfing on social media.
You are a “social-media-idiot” when you think that your life deserved to be shared with you web “friends”. This implies forgetting to live the moments with your own eyes, without filming, taking picture and sharing. As social media succeeded in making people feel they are connected with thousands of people, they hide the very difficult truth that you’re alone behind your smartphone and that real friends are becoming rare. The previous generations would always repeat us that we have to enjoy life as long as we can because it is obviously too short. Everybody knows that the oldest are often the wisest… Life is too short.
With thanks to Eloise Douglass