Apple’s iPhone 3G was released on July 11, 2008. What year is it now? Let that sink in.
Today we are walking around with our mini tablet sized iPhone 6s Plus with all of our friends and family members in our pocket. Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, iMessage, Snapchat and whatever else are tools we would have never imagined back in our caveman Nokia phone days. This generation was quick to go from playing snakes on our flip phones to adding the words twerk, vape, bae and selfie to the Oxford dictionary. Has it hit you now?
Although all these applications are so beyond useful to keep your friends posted on what you are up to, to be updated on what is going on around you at the university or back at home, and to just talk with friends all day (by talk I meant text, no one seems to really talk anymore), it has easily become a jail cell for too many.
Three months ago, I turned my phone off because I felt it over heating in my back pocket. I took out the battery and went out to get groceries with my sister and the whole time at the store I felt empty. It was a really good empty. I didn’t worry about why my best friend was not texting me back all day or how many likes my last IG (Instagram, for all you innocent people out there) picture got or how many people are following me, who was online on messenger, who was hanging out with who on Snapchat, and what my friends were “up to” or “feeling” on Facebook. Instead, I worried about my mum or dad calling or missing an important email – the most essential things. In fact, my sister and I had a really good conversation about a guy she had a crush on in school- something I would have missed if I was busy texting away on my phone.
When I got home and put my battery back into my phone the first thing I did was check to see whether I had received a reply from my best friend and I hadn’t which ruined my mood in less than a second. I felt the value of social media drop almost completely. From the time it took me to get home and turn on my phone, I felt myself become unhappy so quickly. Why is it that I have allowed myself to become so attached to social media that it had the power to shift my mood so greatly in such a little amount of time? Surely this had to be fixed.
It took me almost half an hour to decide what to delete before I decided to delete everything. No, it is definitely not as bad as it sounds, bear with me. I figured that I was too glued to social media and that taking a time off would be the only way to help me stop.
When I was social media free I found myself living differently. I began seeing life through a different lens. I was able to let go of a lot of people because those I thought would keep in touch, did not; and surprisingly, those who I never would have imagined did. I suddenly had all the time I wanted to study and get involved with activities outside of school. I even found myself becoming less tempered and aggravated by the slightest things.
During this period of living as a caveman, I realized that my excuse for being so attached to social media was to hold onto my friends from high school because it felt like my last bit of “home”. As soon as I was able to detach, I found myself making friends here and being able to talk to more people and become more social. I began hanging out with my new friends and going to new places which has helped to make Albany feel a little more like a home.
Now, I’m definitely not saying that social media should be cut off completely. It has its benefits. While being away from my various accounts, I did miss a few important messages from far away family members and events in school that I would have liked to have gone to if I had known about them. I am just saying don’t become obsessed so greatly that your whole state of mind depends on what is happening on your cell phone or on the internet.
When I did feel ready to reactivate, I decided to reactivate only the most important accounts so that I could stay a little more connected. Life without taking pictures every second of everything, “dank memes”, and everyone else’s feelings is definitely not as bad as it sounds, in fact it is so much better because you finally get a chance to live. So take just a moment and be truthful to yourself: Are you being imprisoned by social media?
About the Author:
Simonti B. Class of 2019 Major: Intended - Biology Blog Theme: Writing My Own Chapter
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