The world seems to be hooked on the five great social media platforms viz. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp/WeChat spend billions of collective hours each day lost in their wonderland. (Tiktok may be next in the list)
I am no authority on this to advise and you need not take me advice, even if I dole out one. Rather than advising, I would like to warn you of the 10 ways I think these social media apps may ruin your life. Here they are:
- You spend your time in a fake, made-up and selective virtual world which gives you false hope, understanding and experience of events, people and their lives, making you live in an illusion.
- You start following, feeling and anticipating experiences of celebrities and influencers, as if they are people you know personally, forgeting that they have and want nothing to do with forgetting that you are a person with a life of your own to life and experiences to have.
- You fool yourself by rejoicing and celebrating social media likes, emojies and commendations as real achievement and success, clearly missing out on those successes and achievements that would have been yours in the real world, if only that attention, focus and hard work would have been invested in the real world.
- You lose the best time- hours, days, months- of your youth, that could have been spent in learning and shaping your career, losing many opportunities to build real self esteem and self worth.
- You start doing things exclusively for the sake of social media rather than as an end in itself – you want to have an experience onky because you can photograph it, capture it in a video, add filters to it and garnish it with tags and titles so that it is impactful for your social media audience.
- You are constantly distracted, constantly seeking distractions to entertain yourself and cannot bring yourself to focus on any task long enough to be creative, productive and useful.
- You start believing that life is only meant to be enjoyed, every day has to be seized and squeezed for the last drop of excitement and so lose out on taking the real journey of life which is about pursuing and working hard, even experiencing pain at times, so as to have growth, success, happiness for yourself and loved ones.
- You never tend to grow out of your teenage, always watching out for the new trend, new fashion, new slang to sound smart using, latest app or filter that can enhance your social media image, the next cause to rebel against or the next travel, restaurant, food or celebrity to go crazy about.
- You start manipulating or changing your real world to suit your virtual world of social reality, changing priorities and making decisions that will alter the course of your real life and relationships forever.
- You end up in an endless cycle of regret, guilt and escapism with respect to your losses, not having the strength to stand up to reality and take control of your destiny in your hands.
By the time, we realize this we may have lost time, made decisions, broken relationships, lost opportunities that we can never get back. One may regain a lost opportunity, but not lost time. Social media addiction deprives us of our living fully our limited time on earth.
I understand social media can have some advantages but are they enough to outweigh the damage they do to us. Why walk that path at all?