Social Media: A bigger concern

Social media has become an escape that offers temporary reliefs.


Representational Image (PHOTO: Pixabay)

Today, the best way to hush a baby is to hand them a smartphone. You need to play a video they like and hand them the device to make them stop crying. For instance, our little girl would always demand that we play ‘The Finger Family Song’  otherwise she would start all her dramas. 

Smartphones undeniably have a massive impact on our world today, especially on the younger generation. Even before completing their high school we start getting them smartphones where they can access the world at their fingertips. Within a short span of time, these children start being obsessed with their smartphones, to the point where they literally almost make it a part of themselves.

While the younger teenagers are simply onto videos that they entertain themselves with, the bigger problem is with the younger adults (late teens to early twenties) who are onto various social media platforms that are often taking them away from reality which in most cases proves to be extremely defective in the long run. It is to be reckoned that for these younger adults, it is the time when they experience significant changes both physically and mentally and hence are always in search of ways to be ably adapted to these changes that are often stressful and highly anxious for them, and given that situation they somehow learn to rely on drugs and social media.

Simon Sinek, one of the leading life coaches today says that using smartphones and engaging in social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter releases a chemical called Dopamine which is the exact same chemical that makes us feel good when we smoke, drink, or gamble. This means that like intoxicants, social media platforms are also highly addictive as it is evident from young people using it to help them cope with the stress and anxiety of adolescence. It is the same reason why we are so obsessed with checking the number of engagements in our social media. In other words, our lives become wholly or partially determined by social media.

Unfortunately, this becomes hardwired in our brain for the rest of our lives that when we suffer significant stress we do not turn to a person but we turn to drugs or social media or both. As we grow older, we don't know how to form deep meaningful relationships because we have never practiced the skill set, and worse we don't have the coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Social media becomes an escape that offers temporary reliefs. But what about the long run?

It is true that people who spend more time on Facebook suffer higher rates of depression than people who spend less time on Facebook. This is because we miserably fail to cope with the reality of our changing stages of life. Instead of facing the real problems that we have and learning the coping strategies we need, we tend to run away from our problems and always try to find an escape in other things such as social media and drugs. Like mentioned before, this badly affects our lives that when we are faced with reality, the only thing that is left for us becomes depression and anxiety.

Many youths today are addicted to social media. A bigger concern is that we want to show the world who we want to be but that which we cannot be because we are wasting our time on social media futilely hoping that it will provide a shortcut to happiness. But, on the other hand, happiness has to be earned. Contentment has to be earned. Everything worth in life has to be earned and there are no things as shortcuts. If you take a shortcut to happiness, your happiness will be short-cut. It simply wouldn’t last like the saying goes ‘Everything worth takes times.’

The younger generation has to understand this today that they need to find a balance no matter how tempting social media is and how dull their studies are. There is nothing wrong with social media, the problem is the imbalance. Don’t be on your phone when you are sitting with your friends. If you are in a meeting, don’t constantly look at your phone as if you are about to win a lottery. Stop checking your phone every other time inside the church. Otherwise you are already addicted and that’s a really bad sign for your future.

We need to face the stresses now somehow, otherwise the more we run from them, the bigger and more destructive they become. Keep away your smartphones today and deal with your stresses like a real person. Give yourself some time to really think and not to really distract yourselves. All you have to do is simply let the first things first and follow the rules of life. Life will just be fine then.

 

First Published:May 19, 2021, 4:49 p.m.

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