Ahhh social media. The bizarre world of perfect posing with divine lighting and angles coupled with deep and meaningful captions. Or if you’re cool like that – just three random emojis because you can’t be bothered writing and you just need to get that cute picture out there the for the likes. I get it. Don’t worry. It’s such a frustratingly addictive world that our generation has fallen into receiving continuous perfected updates about others lives’. I know you’ve heard me talk about this before, so I won’t bore you again, I promise you this is different.
Sometimes we spend our days scrolling to see what are friends are up to, or other times it just to creep on the internet socialites with thousands of adoring followers. We have a hollowing addiction to checking our accounts like a daily ritual to see what everyone and literally their dogs are up to. Do you ever question – do I really care knowing what airport your are flying out of for your next vacation or what you made as beautiful breakfast creation? No. But I guess I do, because here I am watching from a virtual distance.
This fascination and frustration with social media has been this dichotomous struggle within me the last few years. I’ve become attached to waking up in the morning to check my social networking sites – seeing what my friends are up to and looking at the latest memes I’ve been tagged in. Being so far away from what used to be my normal life drives me to crave connection to know what is happening back home. I ache for contact to my friends, family and all my beautiful nieces and nephews. I couldn’t fathom living in Australia without having the ability to FaceTime my parents from the other side of the world. I hold onto that string of connection by seeing my friends daily Snapchats, InstaStories and posts on whatever platform is the most popular at the current time. My intrigue around our online abilities has lead me to study all of this at Uni, analyzing, discussing and discovering all the implications and practical uses of the Internet. But, sometimes I think – is fascination really my motivation or have I just developed an addiction?
Nevertheless, I love being able to share the ups and downs of my life with the world. I love showing what and how I like to cook intertwined with the random little funny tidbits of my daily life. I even watch myself back and crack up at how hilarious I think I am. But I often think, is this adding value to my life – or just spreading my energy to thin and not with the people that matter? Is this connecting me to my family and friends back home or is that just an excuse to waste my time?
Often I find myself scrolling before bed until I realize it is half an hour past when I hope to be asleep. Or other times I’ve been scrolling my feed so long that in a momentary lapse, I drop my phone on my face! Tell me I am not the only one that has done that?! And when that phone shockingly comes down landing on my nose, I know it’s a wake up call from the universe to invest my time more wisely in that moment.
This is such a interesting but difficult topic for me. I realize and study the power and ability that social media has to connect our world. But I also see the areas in my life where it is taking me away from truly experiencing my days. I wish I could sit here and tell you that I am strong enough to not be pulled in to social media. That I don’t care if I live without it and could easily delete my accounts and happily move on. I wish I could tell you this because I want it to be true. But it’s not. It’s the reason I have been able to keep in contact with so many of my friends of the years and it soothes my homesickness on days when I miss the life I left in Vancouver. I love how social media has filled my life with connection, friendships and love but I am also aware of its downfalls. In the meantime, I am working on setting more boundaries for myself and pushing for less screen time to soak up the hours of my day – but that is a work in progress ;-)
What I do know is that in 2018 I think that it is important that we have more conversations around social media. And I don’t mean the conversations where we chat about the latest controversial photo one of the Kardashians posted on their gram. No, I mean meaningful conversations about what we really think are the benefits that all these sites and apps give us, and all the ways that social media takes us away from living in the real world. Most importantly, what we are going to do about it going forward for future generations – because social media is a reality of the future and we need to make sure we embrace it in a positive way for all of humankind.
So … what do you think? Does social media enhance your life or take you away from being present?
Signing out (but let's be honest, no one ever signs out anymore unless you are using a foreign computer)