Anti-Social Media and Our Anxiety Society
In our generation, you’re expected to be contactable at any given point, and if you’re not - apparently you have a bit of an issue: “where have you been?”, “are you okay?” or “dude, you missed it!”.
This obsession with being constantly connected is incredibly unhealthy, and creates a society of anxious individuals, feeling pressure to constantly please. So I’m going to set you a challenge: a digital detox, and one that you set on your terms.
You’re probably thinking I’m going to stop reading this shit, it’s like hearing from my Mum and Dad. And yet Mum and Dad are probably right. I’m lucky enough, as one of the last bunch of the 90’s, to have experienced life before the smart phone had an ability to become such a heavily involved part of my life.
Over the summer, I had a 21 day social media detox, and incredibly, despite social media being used to connect us, felt more connected to the world and aware than ever before. I realised just how ridiculously addicted I had actually become to my phone, how anxious it made me and how unhappy I really was with it being such a big part of my life.
It really is anti-social media; when you go to a friends house or some “social” event, everyone is sitting on Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram. Or if you sit on a train or at a train station, look around you and observe how many people are using their phones; it’s terrifying. How’s that at all social? Instead of controlling our phones, they control us. We are a capitalist consumer society, and yet we are consumed by our own creations and consumptions.
When I go out of my way and put in effort to meet people, I want to connect with them; I want to catch up and I want to enjoy being with them. But we’re so obsessed with pleasing everyone that even when we’re with people, we’re trying to keep others happy. How many of your friendships are actually real - and not just based on a snapchat streak or small talk over Messenger?
You may be thinking a lot while reading this. How is a social media Influencer writing this? How can you be so hypocritical to write this? Well, I’ve taken steps, and by realising as much as I have about our technology and social media, I’ve almost developed a hyper awareness.
Yes, I have a large following but - I'd quite like to be a role model; someone to set an example for people to look up to. I don’t want to be on my phone the whole time. I want to connect with people, and know what they’re doing, but not obsessively. I want to take control of my life, because yes, I am a being a bit of a control freak, and not be dragged along by a brick in my pocket.
I’m not telling you to quit social media or your phone, I’m advising you to be safer and realise just how addicted or dependent you probably are too. Find your own way to use it safely, and in a manner which isn’t going to pull you away from your life; and by that I mean the real world around you.