As I begin writing this piece, the only words that linger through my mind right now are those purportedly said by the great Albert Einstein, “I fear the day when technology will surpass human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” (Well the quote is false – in case you are wondering. Einstein did not say this).
Well, not trying to offend anyone, but I am afraid that the words are coming true, even though Einstein may not have said them.
I wanted to write about this for a while now, but I couldn’t think of a way in which I could pen down my thoughts without hitting any nerve. As a 20-year-old, I have never really been obsessed with social media in the past years. Yes, I do use various social media platforms, and I am not really a dormant user, but still, there is a very fine line between being active on social media and being addicted to it.
Now, what exactly do I mean when I use the term “being addicted”? In my view, the urge to capture every moment and wanting to ornament every experience of yours in the most creative way possible. That is by using different filters, stickers and emojis and what not and then putting it up as stories on Instagram or Snapchat or anything similar every other second is being addicted. This may sound like the most bookish definition you have ever read, but I couldn’t come up with anything more accurate. I know for a fact that all the youngsters reading this may not like it but will surely relate to it.
Just try asking this question to yourself once and answer honestly, how many times did you pick up your phone and checked your feed when you were having a good time? I’d say, hardly once. Ironically, the days or the times I enjoyed the most, be it with my family or friends or anyone, I never really had a lot of pictures or videos of those moments. I was so engrossed in living the moment that I didn’t feel the need to capture it and post it on my account.
However, what saddens me more is the fact that we don’t share our happy moments on social media. Instead, we try to create fake happy moments to win an unannounced race of having a so-called “Lit Life.” Speaking from my personal experience, I have close friends who suffer from actual anxiety and depression, but when I look at their insta stories, there are at least 5 to 6 cool and amazing stories of them having a great time, daily. If you ponder deeply, this whole situation is frightening. And it’s not the case of just a hand full of teenagers or young adults, the statistics of teen depression caused by social media are so scary that one can only imagine why our youth feels so obligated to look happy and perfect in front of the virtual world.
The lovely girl who posted a picture of her with a proper layer of natural-looking makeup on her face saying “#Woke up like this”. I just want to ask you, did you? Really? I don’t think so. But the other girl, who is, mind you equally beautiful in every way, looks at her acne-prone skin and feel why don’t I look like this when I wake up? You see my point, #Couple_Goals #Travel_Goals #Squad_Goals #Food_Goals, etc. as if everything in life has turned into a goal that people want to achieve! When and how did life become more about achieving these stupid targets and less about being emotionally and wholly a part of something?
And now when teens these days are not able to reach that level of happening life, it leads to some serious mental health issues. The” Fear Of Missing Out”, commonly known as “FOMO” bothers them so much that it becomes difficult from them to come out of that hole of extreme self-consciousness and dissatisfaction. The point that social media is dragging teens into a competition of “who is living the best life” is leading to serious health ailments like insomnia, mental isolation, panic attacks anxiety and depression etc.
Social Media was never meant to be a cause of isolation; it came into being with the idea of letting people come across the globe to know each other and increase interaction amongst them. But what is happening right now is the opposite of what was planned, all social media does is limits actual human interaction nowadays. Like you may know the person of the other nation very well, but you may not even know the names of all the students who right there in your classroom all the time.
All I’m trying to say is that let’s not pretend to be happy just because we want others to think so instead let’s just make an honest effort to participate in something, anything whole-heartedly without bothering about what caption will I add to this post of mine or how many likes should I expect on this picture. Just for a while, forget that social media exists and live with “Joy Of Missing Out” rather than “Fear Of Missing Out!”
After all, When the Wi-Fi of Life is down for real
When fingers will tremble while typing the caption
When “woke like this foundation” will wear off
And when wrinkles accessorize the face
You will not be able to recall how many followers you had
The number of likes will be a blurred vision,
The only thing flickering in your memories will be,
The sound of hearty laughter that was never captured.