The APP Addict

Shalekiah Barton, Impact Staff

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Social media is ruining our societies, socially.

I am literally trying to refrain from joining snap chat. I cannot afford to join any new social media networks.

Honestly, how many more ways do we, as a society, need to connect? We have Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, KIK, MySpace and so many other ways to virtually stalk exes, their new spouses, and pretend to be something they are not.

The connections are all bogus, too.

Everyone has become so used to communicating through messaging, apps and websites and as a result, they have forgotten how to communicate face to face.

Facebook is full of old high school buddies we don’t speak to, who just want to spy on who is doing what. They want to see if the prom queen and king got married, who is pregnant, who died, and who is struggling through life.

I can go on and on about how we all have one embarrassing family member who writes weird things on our pictures, and that enemy who tags us in the ugliest picture we’ve ever taken.

The fact that we repeatedly update our statuses like we have billions of people waiting on our every move is quite vain. The fact that smartphone users have an average of 7.4 different communication apps on their phones is very scary.

What are people really doing with their time?

I would hate to believe that most of the billions of people in the world spend more time with their heads in contraptions rather than creating beautiful memories in reality.

Instagram has become a place of lies, leaked pictures, fake/happily in love photos, and broke people pretending to be millionaires.

Every female is a model, I am guessing with the iPhone camera agency. Also, there are the people that lie by liking absolutely horrid pictures.

If you are a super hairy and over 400 pounds, no one should comment things like, “You look great,” or, “You look like you’ve been in the gym”. It is simply, dishonest.

A lot of people I’ve met who are addicted to the social media apps are socially inept. They don’t know how to act around people in social settings. They can’t speak correctly because they are used to using slang, abbreviated words and emoticons to express themselves. It’s all pretty sad. I personally feel like too much of something is bad for you.

Millions of pictures, lifestyles, and trends coming at me every second is overload. I’ve seen families find out their family members have passed away by seeing a picture on a timeline or a post written about things that the people involved have no clue about.

The day my uncle died, my mother had to rush from Brooklyn over to my dorm to tell me before I saw it on social media. My cousins could have seen it and had a panic attack , heart attack, asthma attack, or worse.

I can’t fathom the thought of a child waking up and hearing that their father passed away from a stranger whose relationship with their father was non-existent. No one deserves that, but boundaries being crossed on social media are not my only reason for wanting to take a hiatus.

It wasn’t until my friend asked for my Snapchat information that I realized my brain couldn’t take anymore. Trying to keep up with my life, and my friend’s lives, is a full time job. A job that I am no longer interested in keeping. Will I quit? No. I can’t quit because I enjoy the laughs, endless memes of pivotal moments in “pop culture” and gazing at my celebrity crush’s photos.

What I will do is take a leave of absence and focus on communicating and maintaining relationships with those around me in person. I am starting to realize that I find it hard maintaining eye contact when having a conversation with someone because I am used to looking at my iPhone screen to communicate. I think my number one problem is the fact that I became addicted, and so has the rest of the world.

According to the Huffington Post, social networking already accounts for 28 percent of all media time spent online by users between 15 and 19 years old. They spend at average of at least three hours per day using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

People love social media for the same reason people love fast food. It’s easy, cheap and fast. Unfortunately, it has the same effects that fast food does as well. It is addictive, and unhealthy.

I am honestly thankful I did not have social media when I was younger. The weird, creepy perverts preying on young boys and girls, the cyber-bullying and character assassination that occurs, and most importantly  people having access to information about everything I am doing at every moment.

18 percent of social media users cannot go a few hours without checking Facebook, and 28 percent of iPhone users check their Twitter feed before getting up in the morning. Social media is ruining our societies, socially.

Maybe I wont save the world by taking a break, however I will save my peace of mind.