Are We Addicted To Social Media?


While waiting to have a visit with my ever friendly Doctor, I stumbled across an article on social media and the 21st century.

This article, which was written by a hostile and slightly hating the world journalist, mentioned Gen Y (children of the original playschool era and my age) and social media was taking over our lives. Not by just storm trooping its way off our phones but also they, the journalist, had reason to believe that social media was providing us oxygen.

Being one to read between the lines for most things, I decided to go along with what the hostile journalist had printed for reading.

The journalist claimed that social media wasn’t just having an effect on our daily consumption of oxygen, as it was having a continuous and significant impact upon our social lives and our psychological wellbeing. This person stated that most of us sleep with our phones/tablets etc within a close distance and have the needed to be notified and thus be able to respond, immediately.

Having taken on this person’s hatred of the world and feeling like I was predominantly the one to blame for today’s stupidity; I couldn’t help but think: are we addicted to social media?

After returning from my doctor’s appointment, I opened the internet and automatically started pounding the keys. All the while feeling a sense of questionable concern as I didn’t know what I was feeling or expecting in regards to whether or not it was purely ‘Gen Y’ that failed miserably at being addicted to social media. 

I came across articles that informed me about those who lived within the 21st century and who had easy access to social media, had indeed become addicted to social media and thought of what it could ‘bring’ to our lives.

A study undertaken showed 72% of participants spent a total of 23 hours using social media to check their texts, emails or to browse platforms of media. In modern day terms, this is the number of hours spent working a part time job.  Instead of working those hours, we spent them taking 500 selfies so we could get that ‘perfect one’ that would be later uploaded to Instragram, Facebook and other platforms.

SocialTimes, an online platform of knowledge, stated that a furthermore 67% across different surverys openly expressed to having a fear of “missing out” or FOMO. This fear caused 40% of those interviewed to check their social media accounts first thing upon waking before completing any other chore.

The University of Salford in the U.K., conducted an experiment as to what psychological impacts could have on the human brain with the use constant of social media. The University of Salford discovered with the sudden influx of social media accounts and the likelihood of us turning towards these accounts; they witnessed a dramatic decrease in self esteem.

This decrease in self esteem was a result of constant peer comparison or desire to be ‘socially accepted’. Resulting in Gen Y or those aged between 18-35 to become competitive as to what can only be described as social media warfare. Or in other words: how many likes, love hearts or other platforming suggestions for likes we can get or desire for a particular post of ours.

Our desire to be socially accepted and the need to be considered ‘normal’ has resulted in the blogging world to become highly competitive as hundreds are popping up on a daily basis. Within the blogging world, companies won’t speak nor touch you if you have less than 10,000 views and a reported income of more then 1500 a month.  Its even more apparent when it comes to the little guys and you’re the little guy.

Other bloggers will often comment about your lack of photography, niche, follower base or even the need to have a fancy, smancy domain name and self-hosted website. Gauranteed a lot of bloggers put their blood, sweat and tears into creating their own specific platform to suit their gains, desires and wants. But this need of self drive has lead to increased numbers of sleep deprivation and personal/work relationship problems due to online confrontations.

This article has gotten me thinking about many hours I spend on a weekly basis browsing my various platforms of social media, answering emails or writing blog posts. Which of course falls outside of the hours I spent browsing the interweb for answers on college and Pharma.

As a full time blogger and former nursing student, some would consider I don’t spend enough time interacting with my readers, followers and viewers of all things related to the main subject of social media. While others would state that I don’t spend enough time branching out into vlogging, Youtube or connecting with my many readers.

For me personally, I consider my time to be well spent as a full time blogger and questionable college student.

If I’m not reading other people’s blogs and discovering futuristic posts that I wish to write about, then I’m trying to gain as much knowledge about the ‘blogger lingo’. Something that I have to admit has gotten me both stumped but equally positive that I shall gain the hang of it. When not reading posts or writing my own, my go-to-list as a former college student for social media consisted of: Google, Blackboard, the online Library and Google.

Not something you would consider flashy and in your face but rather, holds a world filled amount of knowledge that can be easily accessed by my fingertips.

My personal opinion towards blogging when it comes to Keeping Up With Scarlett, I spend a slightly a little too much time trying to write additional posts for a rainy day or for when I have placement and can’t be bothered writing. But when it comes time to ‘clocking off’ for the day/evening, I don’t find myself obsessing over the thought of Beyonce performing live at college and I’m missing out.

Even though QUT goes into lock down after 9pm (true story!)

For those who do find themselves hitting those social media button more frequently than what you’d originally thought, I have a suggestion if you’re wanting a couple of minutes to escape. 

  1. Close down your social media account and lock the screen.
  2. Pop the phone/tablet into a pocket or bag and start walking towards the exit.
  3. Take a couple of steps outside of your building and simply enjoy the few moments of solitude. 
  4. Repeat on a daily basis until you reach your time preference.

Also considering turning your phone off at night or putting it onto airplane mode. However, if your wife/girlfriend is going to labour any moment than I suggest keeping it turned on.

Although social media has allowed us to explore many things that we wouldn’t have dreamt of if we lived in the ’50s’; it still have the impact to ruin personal relationships with those around us. Clocking off for the evening and putting down our phone is something we should all consider as it not only has benefits for our mental health but its also an excuse to walk up to that guy/girl at the bar and start talking.

Maybe you might grab their name and number rather than sitting in a corner, tapping away.

Until next time,

~S xo

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