Social Media is a socially acceptable addiction few people are wise enough to free themselves from
My contemplations of Social Media.
There’s a challenge in my mind. One is it feels Facebook or other Social Media platforms are a cause of suffering, a socially acceptable drug that people have become complacently addicted too. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram they’re not truly free. It costs your privacy, time, data and attention.
If you knew Facebook and other aforementioned was a virus, cost your privacy, took attention from virtuous endeavors outside its walled garden of advertisements, or harmed people, would you give it up?
I define addiction as something you cannot be free from without suffering from its separation. People understand Facebook etc doesn’t have our best interests in mind yet, they won’t give it up. In fact they spend hours on it everyday, week or month. The thought of deleting or losing their accounts scares them. In fact it almost is impossible for business owners. You can’t have a business account without a personal one. Everyone is tangled in its webs none the wiser.
People may ponder ‘How would they know what happens with their friends, relatives or clubs without Facebook, Twitter etc?’ That’s an addiction. They ‘need’ social media to be happy.
The counter debate is Facebook (etc) can be used for good. This is why people rationalize their addiction to social media. They can fundraise for charity, mark themselves safe during a dangerous circumstance, they can watch inspiring videos, store photos of their life to shared with others, keep in touch with loved ones or students from afar. These are all seemingly good things. Maybe they’re more than seemingly good maybe that altruism what makes it worthy of our attention. Yet, is altruism the only thing experienced on social media? Nope it isn’t. There’s a fairly large amount of misinformation, hatred, anger, disparagement, spam, phishing etc on it.
Can you see yourself without Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram? Could you delete them without suffering from their loss? It’s an addiction. There are even studies that people get depressed, listless, anxious, worried, fear and manifest physical and mental withdrawals from even a short social media detox. Sounds like a drug or addiction to me.
It’s all very hypocritical as I keep my account active. At least I’m aware of its trappings.
All I know is we should see Social Media for what it is and it’s cost.
We should also engage in etiquette on any social media platform that is virtuous, altruistic and for the highest good without causing suffering or being attached to it.
Continue using social media or don’t it’s up to you and I’m no sage. This is entirely my opinion. My hope is that you remember what happens outside of it is more important than what happens inside it’s apps.
Be mindful, practice moderation and if you’re going all in on the social media ecosystem: Be Kind, Honest, Virtuous in thoughts, words and deeds.