Our Great Ruler – Social Media

Technology as we all know has dramatically improved as well as taken over our lives. It’s changed the way we communicate, do laundry, research, and has even made advances in the medical fields. However, while this all helps out our lives by making it easier when we need it to be, it can also have a detrimental effect on our lives and at times our bodies. Technology has caused us to constantly be distracted, but how much is technology actually helping or is it more of a distraction?

One of the main distractions we have is social media. Today there are too many social media apps including: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, are just to name a few from the thousands out there. Nowadays, people can communicate with each other through these apps by commenting on a post or even sending pictures back and forth, instead of physically going out to see them in person or calling and having an actual conversation. Kids are growing up where social media is constantly at their fingertips, and some kids grow up not knowing how to hold a conversation on the phone or have anxiety about calling or talking to others because they are so used to doing it in a message on the phone. Also, social media is causing negative impacts on a kid and their mental health. According to the article, “Influence of Social Media on Teenagers,” is that they get cyberbullied and they have a tendency to overshare online that can damage their reputation in the long run. We all know that social media makes it ten times easier to cyberbully someone because the bully can hide behind a screen instead of having to face someone in person. However, they are not seeing the impact on the person they are hurting. They person can have depression and seriously harm themselves or feel scared to go anywhere because they don’t want to get hurt even more. Furthermore, teenagers today don’t always know that what they post is forever, and can damage their future by oversharing or posting something they shouldn’t have.

In an article called, “Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia,” a grad student from Stanford University stated that once the color of the notification icon for apps like Facebook went to red, everyone responded to it because it was a trigger color that makes the user aware of it and have to use the app. Kids nowadays as soon as they see a notification in their phones they have to respond or see what it is, and now with it being red it’s a lot easier for them to see it and get sucked right back into their phones and on social media. This article also mentions another point that technology has been designed to grab our attention and that in doing so it adds to our impulses over our intentions. In other words, people are not always  constantly on their phones because they have to, it’s more because they need and have to be on it. 

Now picture this, you are doing your work with your phone in another room and you feel what you believe to be a vibration either next you or in your pocket but you know your phone isn’t with you. This is called a phantom vibration, where you feel the vibration of your phone without actually having it on you in the moment. We have actually come to a time in our society that we have become easily distracted by technology without actually being present in the room with us, which goes to show just how involved technology is in our lives and how much of it is a distraction. In an article called, “What is ‘Brain Hacking’? Tech Insiders on Why You Should Care,” “Ramsay Brown and his garage start-up Dopamine Labs made a habit-breaking app and tried to convince Apple to sell it in their App Store. However, they rejected it because of the fact that it would encourage the user to use other apps and their phone less which was just unacceptable for them.” 

My parents have even talked to me how they didn’t have all of the advanced technology we have now and how they used to play outside until it got dark and had fun without technology and social media. After hearing their stories about what they did as kids, it got me thinking, will kids today ever have a simple childhood where they go outside with friends or will they be isolated and absorbed by the technology? We are so absorbed and addicted to our phones that people, mostly celebrities, have been making social media accounts for their kids who literally just born and can’t use it to begin with, as well as their pets. I mean we are that addicted to social media that our own account isn’t enough. Instead we need our kid who is one day old to have one where all he/she can do is sleep, eat, and go to the bathroom or for our pet where they can’t even talk to us and we post with captions acting like the pet is the one speaking to people. Where is the humanity headed if this is what we are doing now? 

Time management has also been severely affected by how addicted we are with technology, whether it is with TV, tablets, computers, phones, or even the social media and games on our phones. People push things off that can be important until later in the day or even the next day, because they are so involved in their phones or a show that they would rather do that than get the work done and be finished with it. There are many students that take almost too many breaks while they are doing their homework or other work in order to go on their phones even if they have no notifications and just keep refreshing in every social media in order to avoid doing what needs to be done. This is becoming a serious problem in our society, especially with the younger generations because they have access to it at such a young age. I recently looked at how I spent my time throughout the week. What shocked me the most was how much time I spend on technology that isn’t school work related. I could never calculate the exact amount of time because when I really thought about it, I am on my phone constantly, like between classes, taking breaks when I’m doing school work, when I’m relaxing, with friends and family, and even when I’m bored in general I will look at social media for fun. According to the article “Students say social media interfere with homework,” “students are so distracted by social media that they have to schedule it into their homework time or go to bed early to get a jumpstart on it in the morning.” Also, it states “Melissa Malik, 17, said cellphone distractions sometimes cause her to take twice as long to complete a homework assignment.” As I stated before, social media and technology have caused people to put it as their top priority ahead of the more important things that need to get done like homework. All in all, technology has been more a distraction than actually helping. 

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