12 Reasons Social Media is Killing Us
Although I’m a social media junkie, I consider myself a hybrid. I still call and interact with my friends in real life just as much as I do on social media. I joined facebook when it was first introduced to my college campus back in 2003. I have always used it as a communication tool, but now it seems to be a way of life. Even when you get annoyed with facebook and threaten to deactivate your page, you feel like you are going to miss out on something. The sad thing is you probably will miss out because people won’t reach out to you outside of social media, so, you suffer and stay. We all know that one person who will respond to our Instagram post before they ever think about calling us back.
Social media has become dangerous and I really don’t like the direction it is going. People are free to do and say whatever they please in cyberspace unless it literally infringes upon the law and they incriminate themselves. I believe social media has made humankind lose value in the essence of life. I have noticed several trends on social media sites that literally make me cringe and not just at others, but myself as well.
- We have become emotionless about death
Someone loses their mother and they post a status update. People like the status and send their digital condolences. I highly doubt anyone who likes their status actually makes an attempt to attend the funeral or console the grieving person. We see death so often now that we aren’t even saddened by their loss. When people die, we are more concerned about their criminal record than their cause of death. We justify death and don’t grieve for that family’s loss. The idea of death has become too normal and too cold. We used to cry and shed a tear.
- We ignore triumphs and instead show envy
When someone gets engaged or married, lands a new job or has a new baby, all they get are hundreds of likes and comments. People are no longer excited by the treasures of humankind and instead sulk over why they haven’t yet reached that milestone. Remember when wedding announcements excited you? Remember when you found out someone was pregnant and became overfilled with joy? Thanks to technology, we see these events happen so frequently that it has lost its thrill. Instead of being happy, we moan and groan because their happiness is taking up our ridiculously negative timeline, “Another wedding!” “Oh my goodness, they had a 4th child!” “Why can’t that be me!” “Will they please stop posting their honeymoon pictures, yuck!” It truly is sad and disgusting by how inhumane we have all become.
- The more money you have, the more important you are
We see this all the time. A celebrity’s child is battling cancer and they share this with the whole wide world. They receive “get well wishes” from beloved celebrities, famous doctors and get medical care good enough for our Lord. Meanwhile, children are dying daily across the globe from the same diseases and no one pours out money to them like they do the rich. I wonder what it’s like for a parent to tell their child no one cares about them like we do when we idolize celebrities. I wonder how it feels when no one visits them in their hospital room.
- We have become attention seeking whores
Yes I said it! Even when we think we are sharing our stories with the world in case someone else is suffering from the same issue, we secretly just want to gain attention and sympathy. We want people to praise our beauty, praise our victories and praise our misfortunes. We have become so desperate for digital attention that we will do anything to receive it! I saw a news story about a woman who was purposely adding rat feces to her child’s IV so they could keep receiving gifts from the public. People expose themselves in the worst way possible in exchange for a thousand likes. It truly is sad that this is what we have succumbed to.
- We thrive off instant gratification
This isn’t just a problem for Millenials, this is a problem that affects everyone plagued by the technological epidemic. We need to know it now! We need to feel it now! We need to post it now! We need to buy it now! We need to find it now! It’s horrible how impatient and self-gratifying we have all become. We no longer value the process and just expect results. College graduates expect to make just as much money as their bosses. People who want to learn something quit before they ever start. People going through a storm expect it to end tomorrow. People having problems in their relationship leave before they ever discuss it.
- We don’t value human interaction
Psychology teaches us that we cannot survive without social interaction. This is probably why so many of us are lonely, depressed and unhappy because we naturally crave companionship and not just a facebook relationship. It’s sad that people are shocked when you call them for their birthday or send them a card in the mail. People are almost annoyed when you tell them you would rather stop by to chat instead of texting them for two hours. We have become so busy updating our electronics to keep us entertained that we have forgotten to love and appreciate one another.
- We don’t know what a real friend is
A friend isn’t someone who compliments you when you clearly should not have worn that outfit outside the house just to add a comment to your page and be filtered to the top of your friends list. A friend is someone who listens to you, cares about you and takes time to understand and console you. A friend will agree with you when you’re right and offer criticism when you’re wrong. A real friend has a relationship with your family and your significant other. They show up and support your efforts. They call just to show they care. They don’t just like and comment on your social media posts because more than likely there were actually there. Stop thinking everyone is your friend because you hung out one night, got drunk and posted pictures.
- We have lost the art of censorship
We no longer call our best friend to vent about our personal problems, we just let it all out on every social media site that we can. Then sit back and get defensive when people attack our overly personal post; been there, done that. In the past, there were things that I simply would not say around certain people, but now our audience has grown to everyone we know, even the stranger who passed us by at the garden shop and sent a friend request. We used to be respectful when it came to religion, politics and race. Now people couldn’t care less if they offended someone or were completely hateful in their delivery. We used to be taught to respect our elders. Now, we treat them as if they should just die, leave us alone and let us take their place. We throw obscenities behind our computer screens knowing we would never have the effrontery to approach them in person. We have become a generation of internet thugs.
- We think words won’t break our bones
I really don’t understand why people try to separate what they say and do on social media as if it doesn’t translate into real life. People say some of the most heinous, evil things mentioned on social sites and don’t think that anyone should be offended because they said it on the internet. We bully people and socially harass them just because we can get away with it. We embarrass people and call out their flaws and post unpleasant pictures of them in the name of a million likes and new followers. We act as if that person on the meme isn’t a real person at all, but we don’t care, we just like the quote next to it. People kill themselves daily from being cyber bullied by the world while we sit back and laugh at their misfortune. We were all lied to when we were in kindergarten, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I promise you will be more hurt by people’s words than their actions. Sometimes words do speak louder than actions. When someone screams “I don’t love you anymore!” or “You’re ugly!” or “I wish you would just die!” I guarantee it will hurt just as much if someone punched you.
- We are over stimulated and have unrealistic expectations
Social media can be like the most indecisive person trying to find what they want for dinner on a 20-page menu. We have too much information and sometimes we know too much. I believe children have completely lost their sense of innocence when they have cell phones at the age of 10. When something is over stimulated it can break down or not be stimulated at all. We have become hypersensitive to everything occurring around us while neglecting those right in front of us. We have become numb to human nature and are always awaiting the next social trend which will “break the internet”. We constantly compare ourselves to what someone else has. We are now exposed to so many standards of beauty that people forget to define their own. People expect to gain what someone else has without recognizing their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s probably unrealistic to think you can have something that someone else has without putting forth the proper effort. It’s unrealistic to think you will lose the same amount of weight in the same time frame as your friend when you are 150lbs heavier than them.
- Everyone’s opinion is law
People don’t understand the art of debates, fact and fiction or subjective and objective evidence. People believe just for the sake of believing and think their perspective should be the overall general perspective of the world. We are no longer humbled by knowledge and have become hubris in our quest for power. We jump at the opportunity to correct someone, but never take the time to educate them. We are quick to judge people, but never take a moment to understand it from their point of view. We think our interpretation is the only valid one. We think the way we feel is the only way one should feel. We no longer respect each other’s opinions and agree to disagree.
- We are all becoming idiots
“I fear the day technology will surpass human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” I could not have said this any better than Albert Einstein and clearly his predictions were correct. People can’t perform simple math calculations without a calculator. People can’t spell a word without a spell-checker. People don’t know how to use proper grammar without it being underlined in blue by Microsoft Word. People don’t know how to properly pronounce words because they can’t speak them correctly. Kids today don’t know what a cursive Q and Z look like. Penmanship has become a lost art. We are making our computers smarter and humans stupider. One day technology will take over us or at least that it was what I have read. Will we ever stop and see what we have done to ourselves? Will we ever interact with each other like we once did before? Will we recognize it before it’s too late? Sometimes I think we all need to have a mass exodus from all social media sites (except for bfryspeaks of course!) and gather round for a big hug.