I often catch myself refreshing my most recent post on Instagram to see the number of likes climb. Doing so honestly instills doubt around my self worth. Instead, I could focus on being present with my friends and surroundings. I can recall many times when my friends opened their Instagram explore pages and said, “I wish I looked like her,” or “I wish I was living his life.” These reactions make me wonder: What are we really doing on social media?
I’ll admit: My average screen time on my iPhone is 5 hours and 35 minutes. On average, I pick up my phone 329 time every day. That is an average of 329 times I am distracted from real life –– distracted from being present with myself and others. I was shocked by just how heavily I rely on technology.
Take it from me: Do not get caught in the cycle of brainless scrolling. Be deliberate and intentional with how you spend your time on social media.
It is always a good time to reevaluate our social media use. Ask yourself, “Am I being intentional with my social media use, or am I mindlessly scrolling and refreshing?”
The more society treats social media as their main platform for speech, the more we recognize it as a utility, which implies that connecting solely via social media is a necessary component of our lives.
When Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri announced that the likes counter will be removed for U.S. users beginning this week, you may have felt anxious, uneasy and worried about your social life, or you could be happy about this change. Without the pressure of getting enough likes on your post, you can now post whatever you want.
How do we keep these devices — ones that are supposed to be our tools — from controlling us?
This new technology-reliant era is dreadfully painful to watch. We should be worried about the consequences of our aimless social media obsession, the outcome of our actions with social media, and how the things we post or share on the internet affect our future careers, friendships and family relationships. If you have an iPhone, I urge you to check your screen time and see just how much of your time social media consumes. I also urge you to think about how you used that time and if you used these platforms for good.
We, as college students, are still trying to figure out our personalities and passions. Through social media platforms, we have built up the need for external validation, which can change the way we view ourselves.
There is a wide range of students at the University of Mississippi, and it seems that most of us fall victim to unrealistic expectations that are exaggerated by social media.
Let’s not forget that we integrated social media into our daily routines as a means to broaden human connection, and that it has created jobs and the ability to globalize our voices. However, we can not overlook its damaging effects.
In 2016, it was reported that over one-fifth of young adults aged 18-25 had the highest prevalence of mental illness. The American Academy of Pediatrics defined the term “Facebook depression” as “depression that develops when teens and preteens exhibit classic symptoms of depression due to the intensity of the online world.” A decade ago, it would be hard to believe that this would happen when social media was nothing but a budding trend.
Take a step back and reevaluate how you use social media. Are you using it as a tool to connect with others you love and inspire people to make this world a better place, or are you using it as a way to mindlessly scroll for hours, building up a self-loathing competitive complex and becoming just another case of Facebook depression? I know that if we, as students, would do the former, this university would be a much better place.
Sophia Meruvia is a sophomore integrated marketing communications major from Philadelphia, Mississippi.