For the first time in years I put down my phone and am sitting outside. I took two weeks off from work to rest and recover. While on leave I started to analyze how often my own family used electronics. Everyone that was old enough to have some sort of social media account was thumbing away and the younger ones were giving some sort of electronic device to keep them quiet. I thought to myself, “what have we become.”
This lead me to analyze the world around me. Every where we go 90% of individuals are thumbing away. Sitting in their car or at a restaurant with others but so focused on the life someone in their phone is living instead of living their own life. Not only is this saddening, but it has become dangerously addictive. I say dangerous because though social media is a great way to network, keep In touch with family, connect to others around the world and promote creativity, it creates a world of fantasy. There are five big beaming red flags and I’m sure many more exist, but below are the cons that stood out to me.
1. Time Guzzler
Have you ever been adulting and a social media notification pops up and distracts you? After about an hour or two of thumbing away life you realize that you forgot what it was you NEEDED to take care of or you brain farted all together that you were doing something other than looking at social media. This use to happen to me on a regular basis. I’d need to send a email or make a phone call and it would take me 30-40 minutes because I had gotten trapped thumbing through other people’s lives. Learn to dedicate time to the things you need to take care or and when all important matters are done then give social media a little attention, not all of it.
2. Sunshine and Arse Glitter
This is what most individuals on social media post about. A large amount of people have learned that positive quotes, soft clean pretty photoshopped pictures, fantasy vacations, and bare skin gets you the most likes. The reality is in order for you to live, you have to be working and no one wants to post the pictures of themselves in the thick of life, raggedy or hardworking. That is considered the not so glamorous part of life. Honestly, that is where the beauty if life is. In the reality of a stretch mark, fat rolls, a mole, a freckle or messy sleep hair. Understand that social media is a highlight of someone’s life and might even be scripted for entertainment.
3. Consolation Prize
At one point in time I had my post pre-set. I was told in order to be successful you had to first post three times a day one week, then five times the next week, and then ten times. In all honesty, who the heck has time for all that when you are living a real life. I mean for goodness sake! Life does not hinge on whether or not you have 10K+ followers on social media. Your health definitely doesn’t care either. Cancer does not give a two cents about how influential you are on social media. Not everyone is going to be famous. the consolation prize is isolation, money wasted (to me money is time), and arthritis of the thumb from scrolling hours watching other people’s lives or constantly getting on just to see how many likes you’ve gotten from a new post.
4. Mental Deterioration
Now, there are several socialist that promote positive messages and use their platform to build others up. But no matter how positive a feed can be there will always be individuals out there who develop anxiety and depression just from watching the positivity and success of others. This happens for a variety of reasons. Others success can make someone feel behind. A fit body can make someone feel ashamed of their own bodies. At unhappy times in a person’s life the fantasy world of social media can give the impression that everyone else in the world is happy except them. This is far from the truth. There is storm and sunshine in everyone’s life. You’d be surprised to know that the majority of people on social media aren’t living happily ever after. Life is always a work in progress no matter what stage you are at, so don’t let the fantasy of social media make you feel inadequate. We all are in the working phase.
5. Technological Aging
We are living in two different worlds. One world was created for us. In this world we feel the breeze, touch flowers, taste a good meal and witness in the flesh the laughter of our loved ones. We relish in the moment of life. Every ounce of time given is used to do something other than thumbing. The other world is a work we in a way create with the help of others. A world where you can be just as happy, angry or sad as you want to be. Where if you want abs you can just photoshop them on. In this parallel world you can be a successful traveler, fitness model, model, entrepreneur, CEO, yogi, spiritualist, or just be successful at showing off your body parts. That reminds me of what my mother always said, “What Mother Nature gives you, Father Time will take away.” Regardless if it is tasteful or tasteless. No matter if children are your biggest followers or not. The list of what you can be in Cyber World goes on and on.
The Question Is…
Do you prefer reality or fantasy? To experience something organic or artificial? We all make this choice everyday when we wake up, roll over and grab the phone to check our timelines. You don’t have to choose between one or the other but my hope is that you will start to become more aware of the time given to each with the understanding of what matters to your life. As for me, when I take my last breath it will be my family and memories of the life I’ve lived in reality that will matter most to me. As always, stay driven and if I can, you can.