Monday, January 2, 2017

a new social media challenge

I'm guilty of it. You're guilty of it if you're reading this. We're all guilty of it. What is  it? Overusing social media. As a millennial, I use all forms of social media from Facebook to Snapchat and everything in between. Wasting 30 minutes of your precious time is just the tap of a finger away in this age. So often, I scroll through various social media platforms for much longer than I should just to pick up my phone and do the same thing 20 minutes later. Why though? Not much has changed in those 20 minutes. I think our addiction to social media partly stems from boredom and partly from our incessant need to constantly be in the know on everything and everyone. I respect people who have very limited social media use or better yet, live without it. Why? Because these people actually LIVE. The closest experience I ever had of no social media was this summer in Spain because unless you had a data plan or some really good wifi you were totally off the grid. It was freeing really to only have limited social media usage and because of that I got to know some really great people and really get to experience some cool things. How often do we go to a show or a some other event that- that we pay money to go see- and end up scrolling on our phone? Or go out to lunch with a friend to catch up just to both end up checking the same Instagram feed you checked 10 minutes before you met up? My advice: STOP. I can't say I'm not guilty because I am. I have done it too many times, but today I realized how unnecessary it is. We rely too much on social media to live freely, most people look to Facebook and Twitter for their daily news (please don't). It's a nice thing to have and check, on occasion, to see what so and so is up to and maybe stay in touch with family across the country, but is it really necessary to check and see if he/she opened your Snapchat every 10 minutes? Or to see how many likes your picture got every 15 minutes? NO. Instead, go to a bookstore and find a new book to read. Take a hike (literally) because the world is a beautiful place. Get to know people. Find a new hobby. Instead of spending 20 minutes looking at the same stuff you saw an hour ago, Google something interesting. There are only so many you minutes you get in one day, so why spend a large portion of them nosing into other people's lives? We rely too much on what goes on in the world of social media and let it dictate how we feel and how we live our lives, or our opinions. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone say something that I knew for a fact they got/read on Facebook or Twitter. Be original! Think for yourself, form your own opinions instead of just adapting the ones you and a zillion other people read on the Internet! I'm not saying you have to go completely off the grid, but tomorrow I challenge you to try something new and fill those empty minutes with something other than checking to see what that guy you like is doing today for the bazillionth time.


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