We live in a world in which we are all junkies—addicted to our phones, and more importantly social media. You know you’ve felt it once before, that feeling of nakedness, maybe from the few times that you’ve mistakenly left your phone at home before a long day at work, or maybe when you tucked it into a jacket pocket for an hour and a half at the movies. Regardless of location and duration, it’s that feeling like something is missing and that you’re missing out on what’s going on inside the world of social media, locked within the confines of your cracked iPhone.
This antsy feeling of withdrawal begs me to wonder what is it about social media that makes us prefer our phone screens to the stars at 11:11pm, and that sends us into panic when we are forced to enforce our lock screens for a few hours. What is so fascinating about our friends’ Instagram pictures of pets or the spam of retweets from parody twitter accounts, that it causes us to sit squinting at a screen for an extended length of time?
The closest conclusion that I have been able to come to is that social media serves as nothing more than a crutch or distraction. It’s what we use to procrastinate from homework and housework. It’s what we use to focus our attention on, instead of approaching the intimidating strangers around us. I know I’m more than guilty of refreshing a lifeless twitter feed, to avoid having to muster up the courage to make eye contact let alone conversation with the some of the attractive faces that sit next to me in several college lectures. Most importantly, it’s what we use to feel in tune to those around us, but this is the most deceiving part of it all.
Supposedly, we feel less isolated by interacting with others on social media, but by gluing ourselves to our phones, we only isolate ourselves more from reality. I think the irony there is quite obvious.
I’m not saying everyone is addicted to their phones, but if they say they aren’t then they’re probably in denial…kidding. And I don’t think we should abandon these bustling apps. What I am getting at here, however, is that we should limit our use, and focus on what is going on in the tangible world around us. Don’t dress up for dinner with your closest girlfriends for the sake of taking a cute picture, but rather do it to feel confident and to have fun. And when placed in awkward social situations, try to avoid being a phone-face just to feel more at ease. You never know, that might be the difference between being bored and noticing the cutie whose been staring at you from across the bar.