9:17 a.m. Cozied up in bed with my warm duvet, I opened my eyes to be blinded by the sun. I reached over and grabbed my favorite little device. I pressed down on the power button and my phone lit up. My phone’s brightness caused me to squint as I tapped in the four numbers that would unlock a new world to me. But this online world was going to disappear. I held down on each app icon until it started shaking like an earthquake and then, I pressed those little x icons. Goodbye “tap to like” Instagram, Snapchat geofilters, Facebook statuses and retweets on Twitter. I was giving up social media. Why, you may ask. Well, I felt that I was too caught up in the online world. I spent too much time on those apps and felt like I needed to be more present in my life. But I failed. After four hours of binge watching the O.C., my fingers quickly unlocked my phone and found their way to the App store. One by one, the apps were redownloaded and with that, my plan was gone. I was so frustrated and disappointed. I couldn’t give up social media for a single day. Why couldn’t I give up four wee apps?
Imagine you’re sitting in class. You’re a few minutes early and you have nothing to do. You can smell the body odors of the previous people in class. It isn’t a pleasant scent. You take out an apple and begin crunching into the fruit. You can hear yourself chewing the McIntosh and so can everyone else you conclude. You sit impatiently for a few seconds feeling bored so you turn to your phone. Your eyes gaze down towards the screen and you click on the little blue bird app, Twitter. You start scrolling through endless tweets and retweets until you realize that the hushed whispers have stopped and class has begun. By the time you realize, it’s too late. The teacher has called on you to put away your device and you feel your face turning beet red. You’re embarrassed because you’ve just been called out. Now, imagine if you hadn’t gone on Twitter and just sat there eating your apple. It would’ve saved you some humiliation. Most often, we get so caught up in the social media realm that we don’t see what’s in front of us. We’re too busy on social media to be present nowadays. How many times have you had to repeat what you said because your friend was busy snapping her boyfriend or typing her latest Instagram caption? We’ve become so attached to something that doesn’t even physically exist.
These days, everyone is so caught up with getting likes to validate themselves. It is like having a conversation with someone and each time they speak, they finish with “don’t you agree?”. Every time you agree, it is as if you “liked” what they were saying. You have boosted their self-confidence and given them the feeling that they are validated. Once you’ve agreed with them 100 times, there’s no chance they’ll take back what they said. They’ve reached their goal of “100 likes”. Getting likes translates to being accepted by others because they have “liked” what you have posted. People are interested in your life which makes you feel good.