How social media took over.
The history of social media has been going on since the 70s, with the first email being sent. Now as we live in 2016, social media has taken over like a store. Our phones have us hypnotized, gluing our eyes to the screen refusing us to look up at what’s around us.
Smartphones are always seen as “a great thing”, especially when we get that quick route without traffic, find out who that what movie that celebrity was from, find restaurants near by, find your friend when you are out, deposit a check, and literally everything else that you can think of. But does anyone know how to use a map, go to the bank, go for a walk to find a place to eat, or stick with their friends anymore, or has technology ruined all that for society?
1. Social Interaction.
The social skills of society cease to exist anymore. Society has their faces buried in the phone to actually look up and talk to someone. We are so accustomed to typing out what we have to say, that when it comes to talking about it in person we tend to fidget, stutter, not make eye contact, and communicate poorly.
Essential times that phones need to be kept off such as work/school, dinner time, at the store counter, and more are ruining human interaction? When everyone’s heads are in their phones at dinner time, families are not communicating, bonding, or healthy. Professionals are now unprofessional when they are in a meeting scrolling on their newsfeed. If two kids have a playdate, they end up in the same rooms- but not paying attention to each other since they are too busy on their iPads!
If you meet up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, chances are they have been keeping up with you on your Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram- so what’s the point in even catching up? You both know your going to be texting the whole time when you are out to lunch!
If we really care about each other we will step away from the phones, and spend more time engaging in an actual conversation- maybe you will learn something you can’t fine on google!
2. Depression/ Cyberbullying.
As a young adult, I know how degrading scrolling through social media can be. Edited photos of beautiful models and memes about being forever alone with a pizza pie is constantly being thrown in your face. If your crush doesn’t like your picture, your day is ruined.
The internet is the new playground when it comes to bullying. Cyberbullying has been effected by 43% of kids, half of that population not even telling their parents, teachers, or adult to get help. From posting nasty remarks to creating a fake account of a boy a girl likes to pretend he’s interested… this kids get viciously creative to ruin someone’s reputation, self-esteem, and in some cases lives.
Suicide and cyberbullying are linked, since 20% of kids being cyberbullies contemplate killing themselves. It is easier to bully someone online since doing it behind a screen is less confrontational and the consequences aren’t as obvious.
Kids and teens aren’t the only bullies, but parents are taking cyberbullying to the extreme too. For example, Megan Meier, hung herself in her bedroom three weeks before her 14th birthday when her “friends”parents made a fake myspace account posing as a boy interested in Megan.
3. Eating Disorders.
Eating disorders are also a lost cause when it comes to internet influence. Pictures of the “perfect body” are constantly in your face, and when the mirror doesn’t give you what you want- overthinking steps in. There is such an excessive amount of information on the internet about weight loss and workouts that it can actually cause an obsession.
20 million women and 10 million men struggle with an eating disorder, and when images are constantly being shoved in your face of ideal body types online, the internet is acting as an enabler.
Victoria Secret had launched a campaign about the perfect body- with models with the same tall slim body shape, implying that if you do not look like these women, your not perfect. This store’s social media page has over 35.2 million followers, making this available for everyone to see. Most of their customers are teens and young adults. This message spoke and implied about how they want their customers to look in their products.
Luckily, the fight back on social media has risen when it comes to eating disorders. Hastags such as #adiosed, have been created to spread the awareness for those struggling with this disease. Campaigns that show all body types, like The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty also help fight back harmful messages on the internet.
You used to be able to go out with a friend, and not invite another without anyone knowing, but not these days! Every single move you make on social media is seen. Everyone knows what you eat, what you did today, who you were with, and even where you pooped!
But when other’s see what their friends are doing like going to a party or trip without them, it causes for a term called FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. FOMO can lead to anxiety and depression since it creates this feeling of isolation being thrown at your face.
Those who experience FOMO ask questions like “why wasn’t I invited”, “do they not like me?”, “maybe I’m not fun enough?”, “are they really my friends?”. It is normal to take not being invited somewhere as an insult but when your “friends” shove it in your face on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and other media platforms… it’s just rude.
5. Traditional Activities replaced.
Okay, so a family of four is on a road trip. 10 years ago the kids would be talking in the
back of the car, coloring, screaming “are we there yet?” every 15 minutes, and playing the license plate game. Today, the car is silent since they kids have headphones in their ear playing Candy Crush on their iPads.
Giving your children so much access to the internet and technology is child abuse. Children are not getting the attention they need by their parents. When they cry or are bored, parents give them their iPad to play with, instead of interacting with them personally.
Over use of these gadgets can cause addiction. Children are more likely not not eat, sleep, do their homework, and have headaches/ sight problems due to the overuse of these iPads, laptops, and iPhones.
Instead of playing outside, learning how to a ride a bike, or playing catch, children are sitting around inside playing on these gadgets. This is decreasing children’s physical activity and social skills- leading to obesity, lack of social skills, and isolation.
Children and their parents are also lacking the bonding factor. Back in the day if the phone rang at dinner time, no one answered it, but today everyone is on their phones at the table instead of interacting with each other. If kids complain they are bored, parents just hand them a hundred of dollar gadget that will keep them busy for hours instead of taking them to the park or playing a board game.
The Send Off.
Yes, technology has many benefits and to be honest I couldn’t live without it! But what technology needs to do is be used in moderation. We need to use it to an extent, and not be so dependable on these gadgets that we let control our lives. We need to look up from our phones and see what else the world has to offer.
Have a good conversation with someone at the bus stop instead of scrolling on your phone, play the license plate game with your kids instead of using iPads to keep them occupied, take a look in the mirror and smile at your body instead of wishing you had some edited model’s body on Instagram, spend time with those who matter and make you feel good.
Social media has hypnotized us into this virtual world that makes us forget about the real world. So put your phones down, go outside, and break away from the internet for a little. Maybe you will learn something google couldn’t tell you!