BY: KAROUN CHAHINIAN
It’s the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before going to sleep.
Photo by: yipengge
Yup, you’re checking your social media profiles to see if you received any new messages or likes in the last 5 seconds that you didn’t look. Whether you’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on, once you’re sucked in, it’s hard to release yourself from their addictive and confidence-boosting grasps.
Your phone in your hand. Your computer on you lap. The endless scroll of the social media feed. It’s become second nature—a natural part of your routine and you feel incomplete without the constant intake of cellular radiation. (Romantic, isn’t it?)
Your phone in your hand becomes second nature—a natural part of your routine and you feel incomplete without the constant intake of cellular radiation.
Photo by: Leonardo Patrizi
While the concept of addiction is often paired with visions of substance abuse or gambling, social media can also fall into the versatile category. Though social media addiction may seem silly at first—the image of social media zombies drooling over cat videos and memes comes to mind—it is a very common issue that often goes unexplored within the age group of 18-29, the millennial generation that was raised in the breaking surf of a technological takeover. However the extreme addictive results are found within children of ages 13-17, according to a study led by the Pew Research Centre.
Twenty-four percent of teenage social media users have admitted to “almost constantly” being online. Now with the grossing number of smart phones, the internet is easier to access than ever. Constantly having your bedazzled pink iPhone in your hand means an infinite access to social media.
Twenty-four percent of teenage social media users have admitted to “almost constantly” being online
Photo by: franckreporter
A single social media outlet is not even the issue here, 71% of teens have multiple platforms to fuel their unhealthy obsession with documenting increasingly arbitrary moments of their lives. Seriously, what is up with that?
Social media has us locked inside a meaningless cycle of needing to document and share every detail of life in order to prove to an abundance of distant acquaintances that our lives are indeed interesting. It’s almost a social rite in our generation. Not having Facebook is the equivalent to being Tom Hanks in Cast Away—you’re isolated and untraceable, but at least he had Wilson.
Social media has us locked inside a meaningless cycle of needing to document and share every detail of life to prove that our lives are indeed interesting.
Photo by: Leonardo Patrizi
I admit it, even I was scrolling through my Twitter feed while writing this article. What if I end up not hearing about how my friend from high school who I haven’t spoken to in months is “craving a taco,”… I just couldn’t take that kind of chance. What I’m trying to say is, we’re all guilty of being sucked into this trend one time or another. I have come to terms with my over usage of social media like it’s my job (literally). I am a social media marketer for RE/MAX Diamond, a real estate brokerage in Etobicoke, and I hate social media.
Let me rephrase that, I don’t hate social media, I just think our lives were much simpler and had more meaning without it. The main reason for this is that we often forget the inherently artificial nature of the cyber world.
All the pictures, posts, and messages you see are not real and are the furthest thing from being social.
Photo by: sdominick
Social media is a mirage that leads you on to think that you’re a sociable person when really, you’re the creep that’s stalking their ex-significant other’s profile on a Friday night while trying to convince your friends that they downgraded.
Our level of self worth is now being determined by insincere likes and arbitrary numbers of followers or Facebook friends.
Photo by: mbbirdy
While you may think sending that bubbly message to your crush online is synonymous with socializing in the real world, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are no filters in real life to make your sun burn less blinding. You can’t instantly edit the stupid thing you just said during a real conversation as if you mistook conscious with conscience in your status. And you definitely shouldn’t try “poking” someone in person.
What used to be as simple as taking a deep breath and enjoying a beautiful view is now being tarnished by the lens of a phone camera—the only thought on the admirer’s mind being the filter that will get them the most likes. Who cares about the Taj Mahal if you don’t post a picture of yourself standing in front of it.
What began as a fresh means of communication is now an addictive and unnecessarily imperative aspect of our lives.
The walls isolating us from each other are our smartphones. Our tablets. MacBooks. Blinding us from reality and corrupting our vision. Even when you’re spending time with friends and family, you spend most of your time catching up with that person’s forehead because they’re looking down at their phone.
It’s a sickness. An addiction. Yet I remain a social media marketer against social media.
I think I need rehab.