It is 11:00 AM on a Monday, I wake up without an alarm clock because the sun is shining through the blinds in my dorm room and the air is as hot as a sauna. I am groggy and slightly annoyed that I couldn't sleep later and don't have class until 1:00. Before I get out of bed, I clumsily reach for my phone and immediately check all of my social media apps.
First, I check Instagram to see if anyone new followed me and somehow, I end up on an account solely dedicated to food. My stomach grumbles and I crave breakfast, but before I can eat anything, I must check my Twitter feed. After minutes of laughing at hilarious tweets and crying at adorable videos of baby animals, I realize that I forgot to check Snapchat! I check all my recent Snapchats and Snapchat stories before going back to Instagram, just to make sure I didn't miss anything important.
I see that one of the people I follow is on vacation in Europe, and I am immediately filled with jealousy. Another girl posted a throwback of her at the beach, with the caption of: "wish I was here instead of studying right now." Typical. I see videos of people dancing at parties and tailgating football games. Another wave of jealousy flows over me. Notifications appear at the top of my screen that one of my friends sent me a tweet. Only true friends send each other funny tweets. After one last check on Twitter, I realize it is already 12:15! As I brush my teeth, I find myself reaching for my phone on the counter next to the sink. I just need to go on Snapchat one more time...
I may sound like a social media addict, and I must admit, I sort of am, but I know I'm not alone. At every sleepover since about ninth grade, my friends and I usually spend the first hour of our day laying on the floor checking our social media accounts, completely silent and aware that each of us is awake. Even during class, everyone uses social media. I have seen fellow students posting pictures or tweeting while they were supposed to be taking notes.
It is 5:00 PM on a Monday. I am done with classes for the day and I walk back to my room for a much needed nap. As I walk, I see everyone with their heads down, and it is almost as if they are physically connected to their phones. I see someone with a handful of bags, trying to get into their building, but the person in front of them fails to hold the door open. He is too busy on the phone. I can't be hypocritical, half the time I trip over my own feet while walking because I am too busy scrolling through Facebook to watch where I am going.
Has social media turned us all into robots that only share emotions and memories online instead of speaking about them and socializing? Has social media turned off all of our creativity? Has it made us post things solely to make other people envy our lives? Or has our generation just grown up using social media and now we rely on it?
Our parents spent their teenage years using tape recorders and disposable cameras, while our generation grew into adulthood using iPhones and tablets. As we get older, our presence on social media has grown immensely, and some people even make a living posting Instagram pictures. Social media can bring old friends back together, and gives us the opportunity to voice our opinions, so I am not going to apologize for constantly reaching for my phone during my free time. I may be addicted to social media, but in my defense, I grew up using it, and it is a huge part of the everyday life of my generation.