Hey, guys! 🙂
Today I wanted to address an issue that has had me glued to my seat for years: social media addiction.
That being said, I have an odd relationship with social media. While it has its benefits, screen addiction can also negatively impact our lives.
Whether it’s scrolling through your newsfeed for hours, pinning pics to boards, snapchatting your friends, posting pics to Instagram, or getting sucked into the vortex of vines; social media consumes huge chunks of our lives.
The first time that I realized that I had a social media addiction was when I was with my ex. Instead of spending time with him, I would be on my phone for hours. It put a wedge between us and severely damaged our relationship. (Don’t worry, I’ve found someone better.)
Instead of choosing moderation–I’m typically an all or nothing sort of person–I decided to delete my Facebook account and avoid all forms of social media. I didn’t even have a phone for a really long time after that.
As a result, I felt disconnected from the people I didn’t see on a daily basis and I lost many friends because I just didn’t talk to them anymore. I alienated people with my backwards attitude towards technology and I couldn’t relate to people when I started going to university. Everyone was using snapchat and Instagram and I had no idea what the big deal was.
I was at a disconnect with everyone in my generation. “Add me on Facebook,” I’d hear. When I informed someone that I didn’t have a Facebook, they’d look at me like I was an alien. 👽
It took me two years and sheer force of will to slowly take down the wall that I had put up against technology and the changing world. Attending college and acquiring a techie boyfriend (now fiancé) really helped.
I began to see that social media can be a way to help you see the world. You can connect to anyone, anywhere. You can snapchat your friends when you go to new places, you can share a recipe, and you can successfully have a long-distance relationship with all of the tools available to bond with your significant other from afar. When you go to an event, hashtags are created to share your experience with others.
Now, I know there are negative aspects as well. Social skills can be underdeveloped if texting and messaging is the only human to human communication experience one has. Online dating has become the way to meet people but you can never tell who wants to date and who wants to…you know. Also, social media can take up time that you could be spending doing something more productive.
The point here is to try to find a balance. Everything in life is about balance; this is no different. Instead of pinning 100 DIY pics and then getting tired and losing inspiration, pin a few and then actually get up and make the DIY craft that you were wanting to make. Instead of spending 3 hours scrolling through your newsfeed, set a timer and don’t get lost in the void. Plan time to do the things you love.
Looking up recipes? That’s great. Make sure you make the time to cook them. Sending pics to your friends while you’re at an event? Cool. Make sure you put your phone down, though, and enjoy it through your eyes as well.
Most importantly, don’t hide behind your phone on a date or at dinner with friends or at Grandma’s house. Socialize. Talk to people. Social anxiety is hard, I get it. I’ve been there, time and time again. However, it is so vital to our existence, to our experience on this earth to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and interact with people. Even if you are more of a listener and less of a talker, it is okay to set your phone down for a while.
Social media can be good or bad just like anything else. It’s up to you to achieve balance in your life. What do you think? How do you find balance between life and technology? Do you find yourself wasting days at the hands of your phone, tablet, or laptop? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments.
Thanks for being here. You are appreciated.