When the epidemic of social media broke out in the early 2000’s, it meant we could connect with friends and family from all over the world. However, skip forward to 2019 and there’s a completely new purpose for social media. From selfies to likes, and influencers to trolling, the original intent of social media seems to be non-existent and totally irrelevant in our modern and digitalised society.
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are no longer about staying in touch with old friends, instead it’s a community where people seek acceptance depending on how many likes they get on a photo or how many followers they have. It’s an addiction we all have. We feel the need to know about what both friends and strangers are doing daily, who they are with or even know what they are wearing. The question I often ask myself is, is social media making society ‘unsocial’?
Wherever you go, whether it be on a tube, in Starbucks or even walking down the street, we are surrounded by people on their phones. People are Tweeting, scrolling through Instagram or capturing an ‘unreal’ moment with friends that needs to be put on their story in case they forget about it. But instead of enjoying the fun times with friends, we’re on our phones trying to capture memories rather than just living in the moment. It seems to me that social media is defeating the objective of being social.
I can’t lie, I love social media. I’m forever scrolling through Instagram and Twitter obsessing over the latest trends and Insta-famous celebs. But what I’ve realised is, that whilst I use all these ‘social’ platforms, I’m not being social at all. Instead, I’m doing the complete opposite. I don’t use Instagram to chat to friends, if I’m honest I use it to be nosey and envy all the mega-rich influencers I follow. I get so caught up in an online and fake world I’m losing touch of reality and what really matters to me; my actual real-life friends! Whilst I’m sat in my room pointlessly scrolling through Twitter, I could be sat with my housemates chatting about real things and making real memories.
Even though I feel social media can take people away from reality, I completely understand that for some, social media offers a sense of reassurance and safety as they can be whoever they want from behind a screen. For those who really struggle with confidence or have social anxiety, social media can be a great way for them to chat to friends and meet new people; I think it’s really important we don’t forget that.
So, don’t get me wrong, I love social media, but I think we should all take time away from the online world now and then to socialise with the people we really love.