A few times in class we have discussed technology that we believe we would be better off without. One thing I absolutely which I could do without is social media. Rather, I wish it weren’t such an obsession with myself or my friends and family. I feel this need to constantly check my devices for any updates that I may have missed from friends, or even just to know what’s going on in the world so I don’t miss anything someone I know might refer to later. I became painfully aware of this habit a couple of years ago when I noticed I felt the need to check my Facebook, twitter, and reddit at least every couple of hours. Any free moment I had was dedicated to these sites. The worst part about it was that it was “normal.” All of my friends and family were doing the same exact thing so it wasn’t considered a problem even if my interactions with my loved ones were mostly through these sites when I could easily see them any time. After some time I have been able to wean myself off of Facebook and twitter for the most part. I still have my accounts because I unfortunately have to check them to find out what my friends are up to. I often get asked if I am going to an event I had never been notified of because the invite was sent to me on Facebook. I have to be told to check my Facebook so I don’t miss out on real life social interactions with my friends which I find ironic. My friends now know and accept this about me. Although I have semi-successfully broken the social media cycle I had with Facebook, twitter, and reddit, and I have successfully avoided joining other new social media phenomenon like Instagram, tumbler and Pinterest, I have unintentionally found myself in the same cycle with what I thought was a harmless game on my android smartphone. The game is called Clash of Clans and although it is a game, a large aspect of it is social media. I joined the game because I would always see my cousin playing it and it presents itself as a strategy game that you can enjoy with your friends. Even while writing this article I have checked my phone twice to make sure nothing new had happened in the game. I check my phone constantly even though the game gives me notifications when something does happen, as if I can psychically predict when something happens. This bothers me deeply, even more so now, as I am writing about it and thinking about my behavior. One thing that bothers me more than anything else is when people go out to be with friends and pay more attention to their phones and what is going on in the cyber world rather than paying attention to what is going on in the real world around them. I am no exception as I am still guilty of this and I haven’t found a good solution for myself.
Now that I am done ranting, I want to share an article that talks about Social Media Dependency and its connection to mental health disorders and developmental issues. This article explains everything I have been feeling about social media and everything that I talk about above. It’s a short read and full of information on this topic.