“Just one more scroll, then that’s it.” Same thing I told myself barely ten minutes ago. I knew this would happen, I always did, I might have resisted it initially but now I’m becoming consumed by its frivolity-a true citizen of the web.
It took a little effort to get my hips protruded in a dire attempt to capture a perfect shot with my lips, placed in just about an inch apart to exert the effect I desperately anticipated. It wasn’t long before I started doubting my face. After flipping through so many filtered enabled faces, you begin to ask yourself questions, secretly cursing your “failed” genes. It gets worse when the “hearts” fail to pop like they ought to.
I shouldn’t be bothered, the same thing I told myself over and over again. Except for this time, that mantra isn’t strong enough to wipe the envy that stained my mind while I saw my “friend” lodging in some exclusive hotel, flipping her Beyoncé-like weave in brand new Gucci sneakers, that dropped just last week. While I’m here, you know just here as usual. The irony, laying in the fact that, while I spun in envy and self-pity, someone was enthralled viewing my images wishing they were in my shoes; a rather vicious cycle of self-pity.
Have you ever been out with friends or family only to realise that half the time, no one said a word but took shots saturated with amplified smiles and overrated captions describing a moment only existent on their feed? It seems like we would rather have a great time online than offline.
I have far too many contacts collectively gathered from sources I know little of, yet I lay in bed most times craving some sort of connection barely fathomable to me because of its rarity. The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other. JK
I wonder, is my attachment to social media significantly supporting a principal I believe to be key to living a fulfilling life? My answer is “no”. No, I feel inadequate by the “successes” I see. I choose minimalism.
Cal Newport loosely defines digital minimalism as, a philosophy that helps you question what digital communication tools and behaviours surrounding these tools add the most value to your life. He goes further to state that, intentionally clearing away the low-value digital noise and optimising tools that really matter can significantly improve your life.
This in no way undermines the positive impact of social media in terms of; mobile marketing, ease of communication and connection, transfer of technological ideas, the existence of blogs and websites such as this. Needless to say, social media has made our lives easier and more exciting.
However, “rather than promoting ideas and supporting individuality, social media, our global platform for free speech, has too often become a place to spread racial stereotypes, promote sexism as well as other forms of bigotry. While there are efforts being made to harness the power of community online, I can’t help but notice how much time and energy is wasted creating social stereotypes, spreading rumours, and highlighting cultural differences in an effort to isolate and mock those who are different.” Nev Schulman.
In 2013, 58% of plastic surgeons surveyed saw an increase in requests for facial plastic surgery in people under 30. Though this statistic does not directly reflect our impending predicament, it is fair to admit that the need to look a certain type of way is upheld than individual content. Or is it not true that the currency of certain apps is envy?
According to Associated Press, the average attention span for 2013 was just 8 seconds, beating the 9-second attention span that the average goldfish has. What’s more, 17% of people visit a page for only 4 seconds, while only 4% of people visit a page for more than 10 minutes. It takes discipline not to let social media steal your time. Alexis Ohanian.
Clearly, we should be wary of tools that solve a problem that didn’t exist before the tool, as they tend to exist mainly to create addictive new behaviours that support ‘trends’. Instead, value simplicity; Simplicity maintains a natural immunity to being seduced or otherwise deceived by masterful thieves offering the chance to create identities that are more or less non-existent in reality.
I found that phone habits vary amongst individuals, rather than write a list of what you shouldn’t do, think of all the things you should really be doing with your time instead of holding on to your feed.