Guest Post: Why can’t you stop scrolling?
19 October 2017 | beando_admin
It is not unreasonable to say, that in the world we live in today, it has become common place to share our lives on social media. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with social media – and I’m sure many people would say the same.
Ask this: how often do you find yourself sat, mindlessly, scrolling through other people’s lives on your phone?
Don’t get me wrong, social media is not the manifestation of everything that is wrong with modern society. It has many positive attributes and has the ability to enable many wonderful things to happen. But that itself provokes a thought in me – why, if social media is such a powerful tool, are we as a society unable to use it responsibly? What that means to each of us will vary, for me it meant acknowledging that my use of such sites only acted to fuel my depression and anxiety. I believe I am, like many, sensitive to the constant barrage of perfect meals, perfect selfies, perfect holidays and perfect relationships thrown at us online. We have become conditioned to believe that our worth is based on our number of likes and our successes are failing in comparison to our peers, or that we should simply be happier because we’re comparing other people’s best days to our worst.
Curbing online usage – responsibly
For me, ‘responsibly’ meant deleting apps that I could not reasonably justify as being meaningful. I can still spend hours on Pinterest, reading inspirational quotes, making boards for my friends, thinking of ideas for a bake or craft project, because this is meaningful to me. As are conversations with my brother in Canada, sharing insights with my yogi friends and sticking it to the Establishment via Facebook.
Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t a bad thing to like other people’s posts, but we have to keep in mind that not only is a post on social media not a true representation of a person’s life but it is also a very tiny fraction of their everyday experience. This, and that there are far more productive, stimulating and happiness-inducing ways to spend our free time.
It is when we become consciously aware of this that we can utilise social media and all its power to our advantage, to learn, grow and prosper – rather than allowing it to push us deeper into our insecurities.
Research has shown that using smart phones and social media every day can lead to sleep deprivation and a lack of concentration. If you think that the time you are spending online is affecting your life beyond the internet, consider getting more physically active with a mindful walk, or engaging in more face-to-face interactions with friends.
Written by: Emily Edwins