How Social Media Interrupts Our Lives

Recently I have been struggling with my obsession with my social media presence. That is, I’ve been trying to keep social media from interrupting my relationships and lifestyle. As a generation, we all face the struggle that is social media. From when we were 13 and could finally make a Facebook account, we have been dealing with watching everyone else’s lives play out on a screen. We’ve all been told that “it’s not what it seems” and that everyone puts the best and brightest versions of themselves online.

We all know that social media is toxic. We’ve even seen it affect our lives negatively. I mean, I know the ritual of constantly refreshing Instagram after posting. So, what do we do about it? Do we need to do anything about it? I have personally become prey to the lure of Instagram, Snapchat, and I’m “trying to get into” Twitter. The other day I caught myself refreshing Instagram only to see that I was “all caught up” and instantly turning to Snapchat where I had also viewed every story. Why do I need to be constantly updated on everyone’s lives?

Credit: Pinterest

I think that as I’ve grown up, I’ve come to understand the dangers of social media on an intimate level. I mean, in college we’re constantly surrounded by our peers physically, and once we log onto our phones we’re in contact with basically everyone we’ve ever met. So, are we ever alone? Is social media cultivating a generation that is dependent on social interactions whether online or in person? Is that terrible? I honestly don’t have the answers, but this summer I attempted to disconnect.

By disconnect, I mean I turned off notifications for Snapchat – big moves, right? Honestly, I did this to save my phone battery, not in some self-cleansing journey meant to teach me self-reliance. Either way, I found that disconnecting was just a little bit was refreshing. Yes, I would still open my apps and scroll through whatever content was generated for me, but it wasn’t called to my attention. I didn’t get a notification on my phone and immediately open it. I found myself reaching out to my friends to call them rather than just send them a picture of my face. I made more intimate connections with the friends I reached out to on a regular basis.

I’m not saying this is the answer for everyone. I tried deleting Snapchat altogether last semester and it lasted at best 12 hours, 7 of which I was asleep for. But, I still think that taking a step back from constant connections and the surface level conversations we tend to have, taught me how to be alone, and how to be confident in myself and my relationships.

 

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