Is Social Media Making Us Less Social

The addiction is real and reveals itself in our daily interactions

Many people I know can’t take their eyes off their phones and can’t function or focus without their phone in their hand because they are worried that they have lost or might lose their phone. 

When I was on a church retreat up north with no reception, my friend brought her phone everywhere we went instead of enjoying the beautiful scenery that we only get to see for two and a half days. She would check her phone every few minutes like a notification is going to magically appear. She was very excited to discover that one of the games on her phone still worked even though she didn’t have reception. 

She spent the rest of the day sitting on the couch in the loft not talking to anyone but one of her best friends. The next day she was in the loft again on her phone. After a twenty-minute conversation, with a leader, she realized she lost her phone. As the day came to an end she had just about everyone looking for her phone claiming she would give them 5 dollars if they found it. 

All of that day I kept telling her it was probably in the couch she was sitting on but she kept getting mad and saying she already looked there. In my mind, I knew that was the only place it could be.

She proceeded to say, “Someone just please find my phone” and blamed someone she disliked for taking it but she had no reason for the blame. I got so annoyed that I couldn’t handle myself. I went up to the loft and the couch she has been sitting on the past two days and I dug my hands into the very old and disgusting couch.  There it was: her phone. 

 As much as I wanted to not tell her I found it,  I marched downstairs, handed her the phone, and said, “Here it was – right where I told you it was – in the couch you were sitting on” in a not-so-happy voice. She got so happy but all she did was turn on her phone and again see if those magic notifications popped up. I just walked away so I didn’t say something rude.

Is this seriously how we live these days? Addicted to our phones and do anything to have our phones even if we don’t need them.

Some people believe that technology and Social Media are making our lives better and making us more connected to people, but people are actually getting more and more disconnected from others and reality. 

With all these never-ending social media sites, there is always something that you can do and it will just keep loading new content so you have the urge to go back on your phone to scroll for more addicting content. We end up spending more time on social media than with the people around us. 

Social media only shows the good parts about people’s lives and it allows you to edit, crop, and morph just about anything you want and it allows you to cut out everything you don’t like or don’t want people to know about yourself. So everyone reading and looking at your social media is getting to know someone that isn’t really you.

An article titled “Filter vs Reality” by Sakshi Udavant talks about how we compare our real life to edited photos. The article also states that “Filtered and photoshopped pictures set an unrealistic standard of what ‘attractive’ looks like.” People doing all that work to look pretty only succeed in making themselves uglier in real life by comparison. 

That the average teenage girl spends 50-60% of their waking time online. So around 50% of a teenage girl’s time awake consists of looking at pictures and videos of people who spend time editing and contorting their bodies to make them look like whatever they want to look like. telling them that, it is the so-called “best way to look and live.” This is wrecking their self-esteem and making them insecure about their own self.

According to a study from The Prince’s Trust, two years after the start of the pandemic, 30% of young people say they don’t know how to make friends and have never felt more alone.

People are forgetting how to have a conversation, myself included. I have found it hard to talk face to face with people I don’t know very well. It’s something I wish to be good at but our society tells us to hide behind phones and plan out everything we say before posting, tweeting, texting, etc.

At family gatherings, family members will all be sitting around on their phones not even acknowledging the fact that they are together even though some of them haven’t seen each other in years. 

When we talk face to face you get to know more than just what they’re talking about. You get to know their personality and who they are as a person and not just who they are behind a screen.

People want to know the real you. Not the contorted and filtered you. Not the person you are online. People want to know the in-person living body that is you.

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