Smartphones Are Pacifiers.
I have a friend who has recently committed Social Media Suicide. He deleted his Facebook, Instagram, and his Snapchat account as well. He doesn’t spend all of his time searching through Twitter, and screwing around online on YouTube. People think this is a weird thing to do, but I myself am incredibly jealous of him and his decision to do away with all of the negative effects of social media.
I know several people actually, who frequently criticize social media and are happily content living life without these tools in the palm of their hand. In contrast, I have friends and family members who gain a sense of europhia whenever they post something online to gain a bunch of likes. I’m at fault for this as well. I’ve wasted time arguing with my friends about what kind of caption or filter I should slap onto a picture of me “pretend smiling” in a nice backdrop.
“Yo, this definitely will gain me a bunch of likes!!!!”
“If I use these hashtags will people think I’m clever and look up to me?”
“Wait- is there some kind of unspoken rule where I’m not allowed to post more than once a day on Instagram?”
“Will people actually like my Facebook status?”
Once upon a time people were content living with a simple flip or slide phone. The only resemblance of social media was e-mail. People would share their pictures with their friends and family on a private e-mail without any likes or comments from strangers. I remember not having a cell phone until about my first year in High School. It was a cheap t-mobile slider phone that had limited access to the internet, and I was fine using it in my day to day life.
All of my friends were hooked on their Smartphones except me, and the funny thing was that I was actually *gasp* fine!!
It wasn’t until later on until my Senior Year in High School when I started to use an iPhone. To no surprise, this was the start of my exposure to the negative effects of social media. My cheap slider phone became a thing of the past, but I want to go back to those days where I was completely fine without my Smart Phone Pacifier.
When you’re tired of a dull conversation with a group of friends or you have no idea what to say next what do you resort to? You pull out your phone, enter your passcode and start checking out your Snapchat Stories. When you’re finished rewatching the same stories and become bored again you exit Snapchat. From there you start scrolling through your Instagram feed.
Pretty soon another person notices that you’re on your phone. They exit the conversation just like you. Another person follows suit, and before you know it you’re having a “Phone Party.” A “Phone Party” is one of the most recognizable negative effects of social media.
Everyone is out pretending to be social together by standing in a circle with their eyes glued to their palms. You’re all stuck inside your own world and there’s zero interaction among the group.
Do you really think this is a healthy way of living? Oh, so you’re fine burning away minutes with the people who make you happy by staring at your phone. Why don’t you try something called…living in the moment?
Do you even know what this means? Who cares, you probably lost track of this reading because you wanted to check your notifications.
Probably one of the least addressed negative effects of social media because we’ve all done it. When you’re bored and have nothing else to do with your life at the moment, what do you do? You sit inside your home all day by yourself checking out what other people are up to in their lives.
Wow! I can’t believe they’re all at Six Flags right now! Why didn’t they invite me?
That’s awesome…that view of the beach must be amazing…in real life of course…
There’s nothing wrong with taking some time off to rest, and recharge. Everyone needs downtime for themselves, or alone time to actually get work done. However, you can tell the common theme here is that when you envy what other people want, you start questioning things.
You’re not happy when you realize other people are actually living life. It’s a smack in the face that you’re not doing anything at the moment. This is also a conscious reminder that you’re just an observer. This feeling of envy isn’t good for your mood at all!
When you don’t recognize the flaws with Smartphones you’ll keep coming back to these bad habits. No one else will tell you the truth about why you’re mood is down. Why would you stop consuming more content?
Eventually, all of the hours of mindless social media scrolling will add up. The negative effects of social media will pollute your mind and hold you back from completing your day to day actions with 100% focus.
If you want to go to the gym to workout, why don’t you set the phone down and start doing pushups? Oh sure, I understand. You’d rather post pictures of yourself in the gym bathroom and then call it a day.
All without breaking a sweat.
By the way, all those cool pictures and videos you see of some other person on social media? That’s not the whole story to their life. We all just want to show off the high points of our lives. Rarely does anyone post a picture of them looking their absolute worst or share a status of their own personal struggles they’re going through. Don’t be intimidated by this person when you come in contact with them in real life. We’re all human and there’s no way our lives are perfect 24/7.
Now what…? (By the way, Jordan, screw you you’re such a hypocrite…)
As I mentioned before there used to be a time in our lives where everyone was fine without Wi-Fi. People didn’t stare at their phones whenever a conversation got boring, and yet people were happy. Of course, technology is always changing. Even as you finish reading this blog post there’s some new update out there making Smartphones powerful. I hope you’re more aware now about these 3 overlooked qualities about a Smartphone.
I’m definitely not perfect. I know for a fact I’ve tuned out of a conversation, or I’ve stopped writing an article midway just to check my phone notifications. I point out these criticisms because I know it’s happened to me, and I’m sure to you plenty of times. This is the scary thing about technology. Sure, we may be able to point out it’s flaws…but is that enough to escape from it? We’re becoming dependent on something we’re aware of.
We have “all these open windows, but no fresh air.” -Author Unknown
Social Media alone isn’t entirely bad for you. Just like with everything else, there are negative effects of social media as well as positive reasons to use it. The name of the game here is to differentiate yourself as a producer rather than a consumer.
- Social Media Marketing is the way to go if you want to take advantage of everyone spending so much time on their smart phones
- You can use Social Media to connect with the world in incredible ways…in moderation of course.
- Skype, FB Messenger, and WhatsApp did not exist 20 years ago and all of these are powerful methods of communication.