At any given point during the day I check my phone approximately 450 times. Now that may seem like an over exaggeration, but is it?
When was the last time you went a full day without looking at your phone? I can’t recall. That’s because I’m completely addicted to being connected 24/7, a feeling that was unattainable prior to this release of this technology.
Gone are the days of feeling isolated and alone; just simply unlock your phone and peep into everyones’ lives-a voyeur’s dream.
But what are the long term effects of this infatuation with social media and technology? Theorists believe that Wi-fi waves are frying your brains at night, but is it really all that scary?
My generation, generation Z, has been deemed the most narcasstic, self-infatuated, brainless generation of them all. In some ways, critics aren’t wrong.
What does a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote have to do with your heavily filtered selfie? Absolutely nothing. However, non-tangible “cool points” are added into your social media stratosphere “cool point score” for every “deep” or “meaningful” quote you add on your Instagram page.
How is changing your profile picture to include a laid-in French flag following the Paris terror attacks going help victims recover? It’s not. But in the world of social media and instantaneous technology these attempts at connecting with the outside world are seem as reasonable and acceptable.
According to Teen Vogue, the average millennial, ages 18 to 32, dedicate an approximated hour per week solely dedicated to the “art of the selfie.”
Okay, that’s a little scary.
A whole hour per week just for a few photos of your face? Maybe critics were right about my generation.
You can go onto any given profile these days and I can guarantee you that at least 25 percent of their bios will include “photographer”. Now, have they gone through rigorous training via a school program? Or are they naturally gifted and self-taught? No, they just have the newest iPhone. Again, that whole “cool point” factor is not only demeaning great literary works, but also struggling, professional artists.
But is it all bad? No, I don’t think so.
Granted, a large majority of social media users are not socially involved activists or represent activist groups, but, there is a large, growing community of social media users that are using this tool for good.
When was the last time you heard about a police officer breaking the very laws they were supposed to enforce? I just watched a video about 25 minutes ago. When was the last time you saw these demonstrations of abuse of power before the advent of social media? No, I can’t think of any either.
Social media is used as a conduit for communication. Whether that be communicating how cute your boots are or how terrified immigrants are of the very real possibility of deportation, it’s a pathway that people never had before.
People who felt voiceless, hopeless and isolated now have an ever-refreshing platform where they can share information, photos, videos, memes and whatever new invention will come out within the next year.
More and more I have been witness to less narcissism and more political action and activism via social media because I feel people are realizing the power of the “share” the “like” and the “retweet”.
Abducted girls are being found in half the time due to Twitter sharing than they would’ve been with an Amber Alert. GoFundMe pages are reaching their goals within hours rather than days thank to shares on FaceBook. Models are launching careers and making a living all due to enough likes on Instagram.
Is that really all that scary?
In some cases, yes. Even our own president has used Twitter to push his agenda, an agenda that is potentially dangerous to the ideals and promises of America, as people such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Nazi party have found justification in their beliefs and actions within his words; and many others.
Social media has been and will continue to be an integral part of this generation, and for many generations to come. It has been the source of comedic relief during stressful times, evidence against those who deny their wrong doing and amazing content produced by creators around the world.
Is it ruining the human race? Absolutely not. If anything, it’s strengthening our bonds between brothers and sisters across all the lands and all the seas by providing connections that would have never existed without today’s social media.