The internet has forever changed our lives. It controls a lot of our time and it’s not going away anytime soon. I’m not here to convince you that you should just drop social media, but I want you to think about what social media does to us mentally and physically.
What Likes Do To Us
When we post something that gets a lot of likes it makes us feel good. Why does that happen? There is something deep inside of us that craves attention. When we see the like counter increase, it gives us a hit of dopamine. The more likes we receive, the more ‘happiness’ we feel. I distinctly remember which post of mine has the most likes. Weirdly I remember it, but it’s because I felt so good as those likes shot past my previous post. If a post gets a lot of likes and the next one doesn’t, we don’t feel as ‘happy’. This constant battle to keep feeling good from the number of likes is not healthy. I believe this is one of the reasons why my generation has anxiety. I’ve been there myself. A couple of years ago, I was in a dark place because I wasn’t sure where my career was headed. I found myself wanting to post solely for that feeling of receiving likes. I had to sit and think about why I was doing it. I made it a point to myself that if I am posting only for the likes then I shouldn’t post it.
Knowing About Everything, As Soon As It Happens
When the internet was first created, it’s intention was to share information. Only universities had the internet, and it was used to share their research with other universities. After some years, it became available to the public. When technologies like Twitter were invented, that’s when I think things started to become sour. As soon as an event happened, everyone in the world knew about it. The swiftness of information can be a good thing, such as learning about a disaster that’s near you, but as soon as a story hits people instantly have a gut reaction about something before the whole story is known.
An example is the Covington Catholic High School and the Black Israelite movement that happened earlier this year. When the story first hit the news, only some of the video was shown and it made the Catholic high school students look like the bad guys. All we saw was Native Americans being harassed by a horde of high school students. As time progressed, so did the story. The full video was released and we saw the Native Americans were aggressive towards the students first. I don’t agree with the high school student’s actions, but I could understand more of their motivations. I remember on Twitter everyone was slamming the high school kids. People made fun of them and hated them. Even after the whole story came out, people still couldn’t change their opinions. When a story breaks, don’t jump on the bandwagon of hate. Try viewing multiple sources and sides of the story to get the full picture.
Losing Touch With Humanity
It’s okay to be wrong. I can guarantee you that everyone has been wrong at some point in their lives. The whole “you can’t make mistakes, and if you do you’re no longer human” mentality is toxic and needs to stop. Making mistakes is what makes us human. It allows us to learn from our experiences. Being a perfect human who pleases every single person who you come in contact with is such an impossible goal. No one can achieve it. You will make mistakes. You will embarrass yourself. It happens to everyone. I got to where I am because of my mistakes, and I hope I make mistakes in the future so I can learn what not to do.
Life would honestly be boring if we did everything perfectly.
This funny coincidence happened. Before I started writing this post, I started listening to Post Malone’s new album Hollywood’s Bleeding because it was released today. The album is about him moving away from L.A. because people were sucking the life out of him like vampires. As I was thinking of a title for this post, the song Internet came on. In this song, Post talks about how girls on Instagram will upload a picture of their dogs but have their breasts hanging out. He continues about how the world has gone to shit and he says f*ck the internet. The original title for this post was The Need For Oversharing, but he inspired me so much that I changed it to what it is now: F*ck The Internet. I don’t blame him for completely ditching the internet. I remember Post was on a plane and it had issues landing. He tweeted about it and people wished that he had died. What is wrong with people. Who in their right mind would wish for someone else to die? The internet attempts to make us feel extreme emotions towards everything. The constant feeling of extreme emotions desensitizes us towards our actual emotions. We don’t feel the emotions we should feel.
Imagine Life Without Social Media
Most of us remember a time where social media wasn’t involved in our daily lives. Now we feel this social media itch that needs to be scratched. If you have an iPhone, do you have screen time enabled? If not, try turning it on for a week and see how many hours you spend on social media. I checked mine and I’m already at 5 hours, and it’s not even the weekend yet.
We could use the time spent on our phones to put more good into the world because the world could definitely use more of it. I’ve seen more and more people at coffee shops, on a date, or going on walks and they’re looking at their phones. Why are you even on a date if you’re not even being present with the person right in front of you!? Leave the phone at home, build relationships, and live your life. Imagine if we used the time spent on our phones to build in ourselves or others, and how much of a better person we will become. Being bored is also okay. We don’t have to always be distracting ourselves. Put yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something you’re not good at, make mistakes, and learn. That’s what life is about.
Like I said in the beginning, I’m not trying to get you to completely stop using the internet. Don’t get me wrong the internet has its benefits, but do the benefits really outweigh the cons? Think of it this way, have you ever been friends with someone for a long time but they don’t help you grow as much as back then? They might still be fun to hang around with sometimes, but if the relationship isn’t fruitful then why do you keep hanging out with them? We only have a finite amount of time on this Earth. Being more intentional with your time will make your time left on this planet more enjoyable.