The year is 3065. The human race, once chatty and full of life, is now a race of silent, porcelain robots. It is against the law to speak and any political office is now an Apple factory: its workers only tweet to communicate. The beaches, campgrounds, forests, and hiking trails are overrun by garbage and waste, untouched by mankind for centuries. Cars, planes, bikes, and trains are useless: nobody ever goes anywhere outdoors. Society has been overrun by technology.
This is a bit of a dramatization, but here are some serious points of how social media is ruining your life.
Firstly, social media gives the human race a chance to “live in the now”, but really, when was the last time you were anywhere and didn’t glance at your phone when it buzzed? Nobody truly ever lives in the moment. Nearly two-thirds or 64% of Americans have a smartphone to communicate, making social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat easily accessible. If you go anywhere public, you’ll see people updating statuses, posting pictures, or tweeting. It’s very common that if a person goes on an exotic vacation, instead of laying on the beach or enjoying the views, they’re sending pictures or telling people on Facebook how great their time is. Enjoying life isn’t the focus anymore, but showing your own life off, is.
Secondly, social media causes people to get obsessive. Everyone has that one person they know that checks their accounts every five minutes, or has a friend who reminds you to like their pictures. To teenage girls, if they don’t get hundreds of likes on their pictures, they are ugly or the picture is “unworthy”. There are even apps that can be downloaded to give people likes they weren’t getting on their own. Editing your waist so it looks smaller or having the perfect filter are common day stresses that people actually have. Upcoming generations are brainwashed to be obsessed with social media, and how they look on it to others. Before going clinically insane, just sign off.
You can be anyone, figuratively and literally, you want to be online, which leads to the third point. Anyone can create a fake profile and say they live in Paris, or take your pictures and claim they’re you. MTV airs a show called Catfish, and the show is for people who have fallen in love online. More commonly than not, one of the people has fallen in love with someone who has stolen pictures from an account. So, there is a person that is completely unaware of the situation, but their pictures are being used without their approval. Usually, this isn’t always an evil point. But, when you go on a blind date and the girl that looks like Beyonce in her profile picture and something slightly less than that in person, it can be a bit misleading. Online dating is a common thing in today’s society, but sometimes the internet isn’t the best place to find your soulmate.
On social media, anyone can be your friend. The fourth point to how social media is ruining your life is simple: if a completely random person walked up to you on a busy street and asked you to be friends, would you reply “Yeah, let’s go grab lunch,”? Or would you walk away sheepishly and a bit confused, without saying a word, asking yourself why you attract weird strangers? Now, let’s change the story a bit. What if a completely random person on a busy site such as Facebook or Instagram asked you to be friends, would it be as weird? Meeting new people is great, but social media somehow made it acceptable to befriend anonymous people you have never, and never will, meet.
My fifth point is a thing that nobody wants to admit that they do: Stalk someone they know, or used to know, on social media. On an individual’s Facebook page, you can usually tell when someone’s birthday is, where they lived, past jobs or schools, or even their family. By just opening the Facebook app, you can have a complete background check of that cute, new girl you met in class. After just searching her name, you can find out about her sixteenth birthday party, what her mom made for dinner last week, and maybe even a selfie of her old boyfriend. Essentially, you could make a judgement on a person before you even have two full conversations with them. You can obsessively check the guy who dumped you two weeks before your junior prom on instagram when you’re 45 years old.
Personally, I think this is the worst thing about social media. The sixth reason of how social media is ruining lives is cyberbullying. It’s easy to say whatever you want while hiding behind a keyboard. In 2015, 34% of teens admitted to being cyberbullied by someone they didn’t know, or admitted to knowing their social media posts were screenshotted and sent around. Anyone can say terrible things to a person that they’d never be brave enough to say face-to-face. In a world that tends to be negative, cyberbullying has opened up a whole new opportunity of ways to be cruel to others.
Social media can be an extremely helpful form of communication. Most schools are centered off of online apps, there are safety apps that can alert police in an emergency, and there are even apps that help you diet or get in shape. Social media can be a beautiful creation, but if misused, can easily ruin your life. Sometimes the best things in life can’t be posted. If you wake up one morning and the sun is shining, sign out of social media and sign in to enjoying the little things.