It is everywhere we go. It is easily accessible on your phone, your computer, and your tablet. We carry these items almost anywhere we go whether it is at school, work, or even during our leisure time. But, as great as it is to have Instagram (I mean who doesn’t love filters and great captions?) we have become obsessed as a society with what everyone else is doing at all times.
According to the Washington Post, “Teens are spending more than one-third of their days using media such as online video or music – nearly nine hours on average, according to a new study from the family technology education non-profit group, Common Sense Media. For tweens, those between the ages of 8 and 12, the average is nearly six hour per day.” I found this research unsurprising as I see everyone, including myself, glued to our phones constantly.
My generation has grown up with making Facebook status’, tweeting at celebrities on Twitter, gaining followers on Instagram, pinning dream houses on Pinterest, trying to find jobs through LinkedIn, and snapping “selfies” through SnapChat using filters. My questions are…. when does it end? Why do we feel the constant need to show the world what we are doing? Why do we feel good when we reach 100 likes on a picture? Why do we constantly seek approval of our peers?
Do not get me wrong; I love using Twitter as much as the next person. But, I strongly believe that my generation is so consumed with what everyone else is doing whether it is with our friends or with celebrities. I can’t even count the number of times I see Kim Kardashian pop up on my “Search and Explore” tab on Instagram. In reality, do I really even care about what new purse she bought?
I am a shy person to begin with and hate approaching adults or strangers for help and I am the last person to want to talk on the phone. But, I seriously believe this is because my generation grew up with wanting to hide behind our phones and social media. It is not healthy for us to be on our phones almost nine hours a day! In fact, science proves it is not good for us.
According to MedicalDaily.com “The incessant touching of your phone can harbor germs on your handset.” Results have actually shown that “92 percent of the cell phones sampled had bacteria on them – 82 percent of hands had bacteria – and 16 percent of cell phone and hands had E. Coli.” We are so attached to our phones that they are actually contracting tons of different types of bacteria.
Not only do our devices contract tons of gross bacteria, but also when we go without our devices people even start to experience “Nomophobia.” According to Good House Keeping, “Nomophobia” is short for “no-mobile-phone” and it is the fear of being without your cell phone. Shockingly enough, a study in the U.K. gathered that more than 66 percent of people have a fear of losing or being without their cell phone.
I have been on several trips where I was not allowed to use my phone for a couple of days, and I have felt great about spending quality time with the people around me instead of constantly checking up on what my friends were doing. But, I also do understand when people do have to have their phones on them all day especially when they have virtual jobs where their careers require them to be on their devices or when adults want to know where their children are. But, there is a fine line of being obsessed with your phone and knowing when to put it down.I grew up with going outside to play on my bike during hot summer days, playing jump rope during recess and running around playing tag just like any other normal kid. Nowadays kids as young as 8-years-old have an Instagram and are obsessed with games such as Candy Crush. I can only hope that future generations can learn to appreciate and value what it means to have true friend.