Having a social life is one of the most important things for a human being. We have the need to mingle with other beings, to share our thoughts with them, to offer and receive help and of course it could just be to have a light conversation with someone for mutual entertainment. Has social media or online friends affected our social lives in drastic ways? My reason for writing this article is to highlight and talk about maintaining balance in our social life. I have found some difficulty in doing so in the past, but over the years I have begun to correct my mindset and develop a personality that is capable to preserving the balance.
My opinion of social media is not good at all. I introspected my “addiction” of never ending scrolling of feeds of Google plus and later Facebook and Twitter to finally come to the conclusion that I must do away with them for good. Permanently. It worked wonders for me! My most important revelation was how much time I got for myself to do other things, like read news for instance. My never ending scrolling of feeds was limited to memes and the like. I have no idea why, but the world seemed to be producing an unending supply of them. Why? I really have no idea why people would enjoy doing this stuff! I consumed plenty of content, but I never created any myself. Not that I’m upset about not giving back. What I took away for sure is, they are no good for your health, mental or otherwise.
I feel pity for Gen Z. Technology for me is a great feat but only if used in the right way. When society fails to define a “right” way of using technology and as a result does not even regulate its usage, it gives rise to problems that weren’t present before. I’ve come across articles citing health issues caused by social media usage, and I totally agree with that line of research. This feeling is something I’ve experienced firsthand. In my case I got lucky as I was able to introspect the effect it had on me. But what about others who cannot do the same? If they do not get affected by health issues due to social media, then good for them. But I find that unlikely, as human beings being the curious type, they would not want to indulge in activities that do not expand their knowledge, or to put it more coarsely, activities that would fulfill the human need to satisfy their curiosity. Which basically means, they get affected by what they read.
I will leave the whether fulfilling curiosity using social media is a good thing or not argument to you. You make the call. All I can say is I’ve made the call for myself, and it worked out well for me.
My other point of discussion is the prevalence of online communication. This could have warranted an article of its own, but I realized I would be repeating the same things even there. It’s important to realize that social life “without technology” would be very different than social life with technology. Frankly, it isn’t too difficult to see why. Would you be in touch with your friends who don’t live with you at pretty much all the time if there were no phones, or no internet? I used to play outside as a young kid. If I wanted to call them out to play, I would go knocking on their doors. Once we were done playing, we’d go back home. And that was it. We didn’t ping memes to each other or stay awake chatting late at night on our phones. Though I see nothing wrong with that, overdoing it would have a negative impact.
But the point that I want to highlight is, technology is making us be with each other even when hypothetically we should not be together. It drives home an illusion that friends and family are just a few clicks away. Over the period of time, I have felt this largely encroaches on an individual’s life. This overlap of when I want to be with friends or family and when I want some “me” time, makes me feel uncomfortable. Moreover, I feel that I am not able to focus on my life, instead my mind is caught up in has someone posted something interesting? How do you even combat this? You can set aside some time for chatting, and not look at your messages for the rest of the time. A little discipline and control should do the trick.
As my mum often says, overdoing anything is bad holds perfectly true in every context I’ve come across. Establishing a balance in your life that suits your mind’s and body’s needs and requirements is of utmost importance to keep yourself healthy mentally and physically.