By Laura Norman-Phipps
Nowadays if you don’t have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or any other social media forum out there, you quite frankly are judged. The constant questions that will get asked from your peers: “Why do you not have Instagram?” What about Twitter, come on you must have Twitter,” are endless.
As well as this, it is a constant battle to have the most ‘followers’ or ‘friends’ and gain the most likes, retweets, shares and comments.
Social Media. It has grasped the nation and consumed almost every single one of us.
How often will you walk down a street and not see anyone within the generation of today looking at his or her mobile phone?
People have become way too consumed on the idea that if you are popular on social media, then you are popular in real life. What happened to going out with your friends and not having to upload a million photos, add everyone you meet on social media sites and check in to wherever you have gone.
I cannot say that I am one to comment, considering I do every single one of these things. What can I say; I have grown up surrounded by this culture and haven’t known anything else.
Every single night out is faced with the photo for instagram, sometimes even more than one, then a night full of a snapchat story that you are bound to regret the next morning. Some delete it in a fear of regret…but why delete what’s already been broadcasted, what your viewers have already watched. Once something is published, it is out there forever, you can never fully get it back.
However, there is the fear that one-day social media and online print will make publications that publish actual print extinct, because people will just be consuming their news and information online.
Being obsessed to have the best of best however can have serious effects with about 42% of youth reporting that they have been cyber-bullied. According to the American Association of Suicidology, rates for suicide among 10 to 14 year olds has grown 50% over the last three decades.
A study has been released by New York Times, which states that social media obsession is correlated with higher levels of unhappiness and that more than half of the 1,623 respondents said posting the perfect photo has prevented them from fully enjoying life experiences.
People are so obsessed with trying to look like people online, that their own happiness is decreasing and the struggle to look like your favourite accounts on Instagram is quickly knocking people’s self-confidence.
The behavior of some people has proved problematic for relationships, with three out of four people admitting to being rude and disconnected because they are more focused on their phones. In the end, this makes them experience feelings of guilt, disappointment, embarrassment or regret.
At the end of the day, is the consumption of social media really going to change? The world is becoming an increasingly technology adapted society and no one nowadays can rely without it. However, every once in a while it may be nice to appreciate the people and the surroundings around you. Also, to think before you speak because nothing can ever be taken back.