According to statistics, one in three marriages end in divorce due to affairs started on social media. 210 million people are estimated to suffer from internet and social media addictions, and 71% of people sleep with or next to their mobile phone [kinda weird if you think about it!]. Believe me too, these were not the craziest statistics I found when researching this topic.
It really is scary how much we rely on social media and our phones to get through the day. I am apart of some of these statistics too. Recently I have been struggling so much with being able to sleep. I stopped using technology an hour before bed and I no longer have my phone within arms reach whilst I’m asleep. And honestly doing that has helped my sleeping so much. But the shocking part is that I thought it was okay for me to sleep with my phone basically in bed with me.
Without realising it, we have let social media and our phones take over our lives. Social media has infiltrated our lives just like the Covid pandemic. Except its happened so slowly that we didn’t even notice and the side affects were not as noticeable.
WE ARE CONSUMED BY IT
Social media has consumed us. It’s become part of our lives and who we are, whether we like it or not. If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends you have to be on social media. If you want to keep up with friends and family, you need social media. And before you know it, your business is on social media so there’s really no escape.
Specifically with blogging, one of the main things that helps bloggers, is using social media to drive traffic to your site. Whether it’s using Instagram, twitter or Pinterest its advised to use at least one platform to help your blog to grow. This alone doesn’t help with needing to reduce screen time. It just adds to the problem.
WE COMPARE OUR LIVES TO IT
I don’t know about you but I have spent my fair share of time scrolling through my feeds comparing myself to many different women I saw popping up with perfect bodies, hair and makeup. I’ve spent times being so sad and down and wondering why my life isn’t as happy and exciting as others I see online. And thats what’s so damaging about social media. We compare our real lives to the highlight reels we see of others online. And it needs to stop. You cannot compare life to another one you see online. There is literally no comparison.
It makes sense why the mental health rates are going up in the world. We have created an imagine in our minds of what life should be like based from what we have seen online. And when it doesn’t turn out that way, we are sad and discouraged. When that life we see isn’t real anyway.
WE’RE ADDICTED TO IT
I mentioned this briefly in the introduction, and I’m not proud to say it but I’m addicted to my phone. And I’m guessing most of you are too. I know excess use of it doesn’t do me any good yet continue to be addicted anyway. So addicted that it started affecting my mental state and my sleep. Thats when you know there’s a problem. I read my social feeds like its the morning paper and use it to catch up on the stuff I missed when I was asleep. How can this be normal?
So not only does social media warp our version of reality it also affects us mentally and physically. I’m really selling social media here aren’t I!
What are your views on social media?
Do you think you’re addicted to it? Or do you feel that you have control over it?
I know there will be a select few that won’t relate to this post. And I applaud you for having the will power to not be sucked into temptation. [Tell me your secret!] But for most of us this is our reality whether we like it or not. It’s like trying to break up with your ex that you still love so much but you know they’re bad for you. Social media is that ex that you really cant get rid of.
• Instagram • Twitter • Pinterest
I was a kid when the first personal computers hit the market. I’ve watched the Internet grow up (one might say blow up) and I’ve seen this coming for a long time. Not sure what to do about it. I’m no Luddite, I’ve seen the tech do some great things, like level the playing field so the average person can achieve the fortune and fame that was previously denied by corporate gatekeepers. I think it’s like any tool, it can be used for good or bad. We the users need to take control of it so it doesn’t take control of us though. I don’t know how, but I do know we need to do it together.
There are good and bad with most things aren’t there! You’re right that we need to take control of it and its up to us to not let it consume us and our minds. But once were in that rabbit hole it can be hard to get out of it!
Believe me I know… I’ve seen this developing for decades, and I was enthusiastic… back then. First there was BBS, then newsgroups, then AltaVista and Yahoo, then Myspace, and Facebook, etc. Smart phones were the real rabbit hole though. Across generations. Always there, always ready for player one. I ditched mine last year. There’s got to be a better way. We can’t let them turn us into cash cows. I’m going back to old school anything, even if it means a whole new home grown internet.
Anything in excess is harmful. Every new technology has its advantages and disadvantages. People need to know how to use it. Businesses want people to get addicted to their product, so the onus is on the people to resist. Your post does that, makes them think.
You’re so right!
Interesting and quite true.
Yes, I too switch off from screens at least half an hour, preferable an hour before I sleep. I am trying to get into the discipline of going to social media only three times a day for limited period. Have been doing so since the 1st 😊
This is such an important post! I wish we could go back to a more simple time where we wrote letters to one another and actually had to see each other to communicate and catch up. I remember having a pen pal when I was younger and it was the best thing ever – we used to send each other little gifts, drawings and photos. Now you just drop people a message or post a photo to social media and it completely takes away the specialness of it. I don’t have social media, I haven’t for years. It was so hard to adjust to at first. I would find myself wanting to reactivate it the second I took a really nice picture of myself (cringe I know, but let’s face it that’s the reality of social media) I was posting for other people’s benefit and not myself. It took me at least 6 months before I started to adjust and enjoying personal moments without sharing it with a bunch of people who I went to school with 10 years ago or some random person I met once. I’m so much happier now, and I love the fact that my life is private. Nobody knows what I’m up to, where I work, how I feel, what I look like. Apart from my family and few close friends. I don’t want Katie from Year 8 to know what I’m doing because if she’s important she’d be in my life properly, not just lurking from a corner of my social media! My blog is the only place I share anything remotely personal, and I feel it’s on a more professional and informative basis instead of a ‘look at me look what I’m doing’ basis. 😄
THIS🙌🏼 You legit hit the nail on the head. I really want to eventually live life that way. You’re so right. If people want to be in your life they will. I have an issue with people wanting to be nosey when I didn’t even speak to them when I was at school. Its weird if you ask me.
Those who want to be in your life will be.
Totally agree! Social media is ruining our lives. But, when used right – it can really boost the mood. I filter my feed, so only funny / viral memes / good news show.
Miamii – https://explorewithmii.com/
YES! There just needs to be that healthy balance!
Before I started blogging, I spent a lot of time on Facebook. I think blogging may have saved my life. That time is now much better spent 🙂
I would agree too. I spend most of my time on my blog rather than other platforms. I feel like blogging is one of the best social media platforms.
I 100 % agree! Tiktok is the social media that scares me the most to be honest! There are so many young kids on that app, my friend’s sister who is 10 years old already feels self-conscious about her body and the fact that it’s a never ending feed means that you can spend hours at a time on it.
Tik Tok is the worst. They have an age limit but nothing stopping these kids from saying they’re of age when they’re not. Not to mention there is content on there not suitable for children AT ALL. Its scary what kids are exposed to.
Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader)
I depend on social media for a lot of things but I don’t think I’m addicted. I leave my phone downstairs when I go to sleep. The only exception is when my daughter is working night shift but then it’s on “do not disturb” with her on emergency override in case she needs to reach me.
I agree that it’s a bad idea to compare your life to what you see on social media. I have always shook my head at the sexy selfies of teenage girls who get dressed and dolled up just to take a selfie to post on Instagram so their friends will say “oooh you’re gorgeous”. Just another symbol of our fake world. Is anyone real any more?
I guess with most things it depends on the person. I know alot of younger people who are literally attached at the hip with their phones and technology and older ones who really aren’t too bothered about it. I love the features phones have now. It allows us to filter out what we need!
You’re so right. Majority of it is fake and not real and all for an ego boost
That first statistic about affairs on social media is insane!
Right! Thats what I thought!
For me personally, when i got my first smart phone few years back, i binge watched and discovered everything possible, new features, people and games taht kept me occupied through the day. Now, social media and phones are at bay, i use them when i have nothing to do, no goal to complete for the day, so i keep myself busy with productive things and generally spend time with humans beside me. That works for me.
That sounds like such a great plan for you and one we can all do with learning! Thanks for sharing that!
Many thanks for this good sense. Suggestions! Focus on something different. Read a poem every day (there are lots of Poem a Day Books, a v.good one is Wendy Cope’s). Take time to think about it and learn poems you like by heart. Try this with the Bible -or the holy book in your tradition. When you go out for a walk don’t take the phone with you and don’t listen to anything electronic-just look around you and take in Nature.
Thanks so much for sharing these suggestions Alan. I stopped taking my phone with me when I go for my daily walks too. Its so important to have a disconnect isn’t it!
I’m glad to say that I’m not addicted to social media (but who knows, maybe I will someday). I don’t actually have a personal phone, but I use social media from my computer and my siblings’ phones, and then thankfully my Mom always has her eyes on me so she doesn’t let me use their phones a lot, and I think I’m lucky for it haha..
Phones and social media bring alot of freedom but can bring bad too. So maybe its not a bad idea you don’t have one!
I’ve also recently started having my phone away from my bed at night and going to invest in an alarm clock so I dont have my phone in my bedroom. I’ve also started disabling Instagram during the week and only using it at the weekend – doesnt help my blog traffic but definetely improves my wellbeing. It’s so hard to find the balance, especially with the ongoing pandemic xx
Such a great idea! Sometimes those sacrifices need to happen for us to remain sane in a very insane world right now. Thanks for sharing that xx
This is beautifully written🙌🏽👏🏾👏🏾
After this I really need to put my phone few centimetres away from my bed. I never thought about it like, I take my phone to bed with me😐
You are right, it’s so hard to stay away from your phone when everything is in there. From communication with others to blogging stuff —everything! We must to do better.
Thanks for this reminder x
I started doing it probably over a week ago and my sleep is so much better and hardly ever tempted to reach for it when I cant sleep. Its kind of out of site out of mind! xx
I’ve left so many social media sites because of how they encourage division and misinformation to circulate. The less I’m online the freer I feel.
I really need to start doing this, I can imagine its so freeing not having the negativity so readily available
I definitely use my phone WAY too much. I do everything on it. I read, write, watch, take pictures, etc. all on my phone. I try to balance it but it’s hard when everything is happening in one place. I take regular breaks from social media to make sure I’m not stuck in the endless void of scrolling, but it’s harder when you’re trying to build a web presence and share your creative journey. I have committed to getting out to nature to get away from the distractions and that has been wonderful.
You’re so right. Maybe I should write a post about trying to balance social media with blogging. It can be really hard. Setting boundaries and schedules/rules for usage helps so much in combatting phone addictions!
Great post about an important topic. I wish I could say I have the answer. Social media addiction is not one of the afflictions most of us baby boomers have to worry about. People of all ages need to be smart about what they see and hear and try to concentrate on what really matters in life.
You’re right. Its more my generation and below that have this addiction to phones and social media. I’m so glad I grew up with no technology and played outside. I feel like it really shaped me into who I am. And I get worried for future tech generations that wont ever have had that!
Thanks for covering an important and interesting topic. I grew up without of today’s technology. That might give me a different perspective, but did not stop me from seeing myself get addicted to social media. So at one point I asked myself if I felt better or worse after I got off FB. Well I didn’t feel better so I cancelled my account. I opened it again when I started blogging. I limit my time on social media. I charge my cell at night in my office away from my bedroom.
I recently read that for people/kids with ADHD, looking at social media can be good. It triggers dopamine, from the gratification you get from opening posts and flipping through photos. Dopamine is lower in people who have ADHD. It is probably this release of dopamine that makes it addictive for the rest of us.
I still try to monitor my time on all the sites. There certainly is an ever growing variety to keep up with when your a freelancer. Be well!
I didn’t know that it could be beneficial for those with ADHD. How interesting!
You’re right, it almost is gratification when we skip to the next video or page, and thats what keeps us coming back for more regularly. Thanks for sharing this with us!
Funny you should post this blog as I’m taking a couple of days off Facebook, I find myself scrolling through peoples posts even though so many of them are the same as always, rarely interesting. A strange phenomenon is when people post messages to loved one’s who have died. I know some do it to get sympathy from people, but many do it because it gives them comfort, which maybe illustrates how big social media has become in our psyche.
Well either way it is here to stay, we just need to learn as individuals how much control it has over us on a daily basis.
I have seen this before and never really understood it. But I know it can be beneficial for people going through the stages of grief and it can help them to deal with it better. But you’re right, some people do it for sympathy. Which is fine, but I feel like you need to have good intentions behind it.
Kinda like how covid is part of us, social media and the internet is now part of us too. We just need to learn and adapt so we don’t let it consume our minds and lives.
A beautiful post thank you so much
Social media has indeed taken over our lives. We use it to connect with our lives ones, promote our businesses, catch up on trending topics, support other creators, entertain and educate us. These area not bad but the fact that we use soci media for everything means we become depend on it. We are always on or waiting for the next notification. Too much of anything isn’t good even something as vital as water. We definitely need to encourage ourselves and each other to distance ourselves from social feed. Support each other in taking a break from social media once a week or setting a lock off time at the end of the day or limiting the time spent on each app. Everything in moderation is best, I think.
I myself have set a no phone policy an hour before bed and I am slowly transitioning to no social media on Sundays, which is my designated self-care day.
Thanks for sharing this post Olivia. It is an important message.
I started watching a show on Netflix that I still haven’t finished about this. It had people who used to work at Google and Pinterest and they shared at how they can time how long we spend looking at images and how they perfectly time notifications so you’ll click back on the app. Its all control and manipulation if you really think about it.
If we aren’t careful we’ll allow it to consume us and it’ll become who we are as people. We’ll lose our identities. Which will obviously be terrible if it gets to that.
That is interesting to know and scary. We really need to be mindful about what we are doing and reflect on whether we are being intentional with our actions or brainwashed by the system.
What’s the name of the show?
🦋 Olivia this is a wonderful post, I too found myself spending too much time on my phone. I practically do everything on my phone. I was about to write a blog on this because I noticed that it even started to interfere with my relationship with God. I have been neglecting my music writing & playing, even my drawing. So I came up with a plan so that nothing interferes with my relationship with God and the things I love to do. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading this blog. ♥️
Sometimes you have to make sure you make separate time for the two. If we can spend hours scrolling Instagram and Tik Tok we can spend 30 minutes reading or praying with God can’t we!
There is no such thing as moderation when it comes to social media. Seeing that others filter their feeds to control what they see, I’ve been there – done that. Filtering and unsubscribing won’t solve the root of the problem. Going cold turkey and quitting will. It’s true that many ppl say that we need at least one other platform to grow our blogs. Honestly, I just use WP and engage with the community on here. This is my platform of choice.
This is coming from someone who used FB religiously for 10+ years before calling it quits. IG was an on/off relationship which started to bore me after a while… I really had to get real with myself and ask what the purpose of any of this was. Do my followers even care about me? The hard truth was no. I’ve come to realize that I don’t need external validation from social media platforms when I am perfectly content with blogging. WP is a healthier platform in my humble opinion. 🙂
I’d have to disagree slightly there. I use social media in moderation and have significantly reduced my screen time without needing to go cold turkey. Of course its different for everyone and not everyone has great willpower!
Agreed that WP is probably the least toxic and most positive social media platform that I am part of for sure. I am so grateful that it is too, because I spend most of my time on here when I am using my computer.
You’re lucky that you are able to use social media in moderation! It was multiple factors that made me quit for the time being, but maybe one day I will break the hiatus. Going cold turkey helped tremendously with my mental health and FOMO slowly went away… I’ve replaced it with JOMO (joy of missing out) 🦋
Do you recommend using the WP app? I’ve been using the app on my phone but I find that I waste so much time on the app – it’s not the most productive use of time 🙇♀️
Aw I love that! I can imagine FOMO was a real thing. And perhaps why people find it so hard to stay away from social media. It seems to be where the fun is at! (apparently!)
Its a great app! I have it but don’t use it much. I have the notifications turned off so that I am not reminded or tempted to check it so often. its helped alot with constantly feeling the need to check on my blog! So maybe try that 🤗
The notifications are turned off on my phone but I still check notifications within the app itself 😅 Yes, I completely agree that it’s hard to stay away! Technically I still use SnapChat but it’s only for the filters… I couldn’t find a better replacement. That’s all I use it for and hardly spend time on it. I guess some apps are more addictive than others! 🤭
I recently joined Instagram a few months ago and it has made me neglect my writing on WordPress. Ig is just a quick snap, selected out of a 100 to find the best, then a witty caption. It has made me so lazy with writing.
On the other hand, Twitter has been a huge help for me teaching virtually. My Twitter is 90% job related. I gain a lot of ideas on a professional level.
I’ve noticed with online teaching, the students are more likely to type a response in the chat vs. Unmutting their mics to speak.
Social media can be such great and powerful tools for all sorts of things. We just have to be careful to not let it control us too much!
Jenny in Neverland
Great post and I totally agree with you. I think our relationships with social media are a constant work in progress of finding what works for us and how we can best manage it. I love social media because I work from home, I work online and social media is a huge part of that. But knowing where those boundaries are is just as important x
You’re very right Jenny. There has to be a healthy balance and only we can create that balance! Thanks for sharing that!
I’m in the select few. I guess since I joined WordPress, I spend my very spare social time reading and writing, and short comment spouts.
Not at all in a rush to get back to the chaos of social media. So I tend to only check notifications and news tags for information like once every 2days.
I like your new dp btw🙏🏾
I don’t blame you. Social media can be overwhelming cant it!
Thanks so much! 🙂
It’s soooooo true that most of we are addicted to our phones .now we live most of our lives on it .there was a time when I went out ground to play ,saw each others in person by went there home .these days are gone .
And I am also trying to not spending most of time on my phone. I have a schedule for maintain my screen time,me time and work time .
I barely maintain it every day. Some days i procrastinate and spent all time on my phone .but as a students we have to study harder and not spending too much time on phone.
Phone can cause harm for students as well and if our phones controls us that will be destring our mental health, physical health, and future.
And soon my exam will be held on June and I have less time to prepare .and I am still procrastinating my study .
Dealing with this ex(phone) is a huge struggle I must say😵
Phone addiction is real and alive in alot of our lives. We must take actions that we can to ensure we don’t let it get too out of hand!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts ☺️
I had to quit cold turkey. I signed out of Instagram (their new policies pushed me out…creeping on us is wrong), and I deactivated my Facebook account. Both are deleted from my phone. Since then, I’ve had more intentional conversations with my “far away” friends and my local relationships have been better. I also feel better about the area I live in, mainly because I’m out of the muck of who’s doing what (in negative ways.) I’m much happier, and much more productive.
I’m so happy for you and that you were able to do that. I can see such benefits in doing that. It will stop the comparison we have of other people and the feeling of not being good enough etc. I hope to do this one day too!
A reason I don’t like online dating sites, as men do not fully disclose everything, to put it politely.
And how quickly disputes can happen on social media, words twisted and misunderstood 👀👀.
Self gratification and if not getting prefer number of likes, deflating to self worth, which it should no be. I think I am glad that social media was not booming in the 90s, as it really would of been a distraction. But certain information was lacking back then especially information on natural hair.
Totally agree with the addictiveness of social media.