As we all know, since the dawn of Facebook, we have seen first hand how addictive social media can be. Not before long after Facebook’s premiere, Twitter came, then Instagram and many many more platforms followed. Yet as much as we love them, I know I’m not the only @KhaleejiGirl who can see its looming power with only a flashlight helping one finish her last post.
If only it were that easy. If only it were in fact only one last post that the flashlight was needed for.
As a social media specialist, I wouldn’t dare say any of this out of judgement or hatred towards social media. Not only that, but who can blame others when you have one post after the other of mouthwatering and savoring different kinds of foods to scroll through throughout hours of the day? And who can ever say anything bad when you can scroll through several pictures from accounts all over the world that have the most innovate designs of fashion, style, and so much more? What about the different accounts that tailor towards different workouts that can motivate a @KhalejiGirl to loose the weight she put on after she tried to find the closest supermarket to eat a kind of food that she saw in an Instagram account?
I mean, even reading it back to myself I can’t think there could be anything bad with social media!
Although this all sounds wonderful, we all know that in one way or another social media, though it may start off innocently, can grow into a traitorous habit. In fact, Forbes reports that “the fact that we’re even checking in on everyone’s digital moments all the time doesn’t really make us feel so awesome about our own lives.”
Wow. Just look at that for a second and think back to your own social media habits. Maybe there’s a F1 player you admire so much that you want to see what they do during their spare time. Or maybe you actually do enjoy keeping up with one of the Kardashians. So you check out their Snap Chat account or maybe even their Instagram feed one day but you know it doesn’t end there. You find yourself waking up the next morning and checking out what their last post was while you’re still in bed. Which may lead you to checking another person’s account, then another and another after that. But then, what happens in your actual life? When are you going to have the time to go out and post something on your Instagram and create memories of your own? Are we living in a time where we live off of other peoples’ memories more than creating our own?
There are many areas of research that has been done to contribute towards this. For one, in 2013 a study from the journal PLOS One saw that, “Facebook usage was directly linked to less life satisfaction” while another kind of research from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine generated data that saw how, “too much exposure to social media can often lead to social isolation in real life.”
Yes, social media can be good but don’t forget to make the best out of it. Meaning, don’t forget to be the one making memories, not always the one who is looking at the memories of other people no matter how famous they can be. You won’t want a life looking back at how you what could have happened if you were to only document your own treasured celebrations be it big or small. It’s time to get real with your own life and not the life of others on social media.