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The Social Media Snowball

Our addictions to our devices don’t stop at incessantly scrolling through Instagram to see an abundance of “good vibe” posts ranging from twentyfun shenanigans to breakfast dates.

You might even see another post of someone abroad, or the classic beach post while in the dead of winter. And we all know the person that posts a plethora of videos because they claim they have “post-festival depression”.  

It doesn’t stop after seeing tweets of your favorite musician announcing he’s in the studio or that he’s going on tour, random requests from Chrissy Teigen for 6 brown bananas from someone in Los Angeles, or the photos from “Just Travel” that makes you to want to go somewhere that your bank account won’t allow.

We’re not yet filled with enough satisfaction when we see a dozen puppies on Facebook harmlessly attacking a child or a “how to” food video that ignites our taste buds and fills our mouths with drool. There is always a new fad that lives to entertain us. Enter Find My Friends and the classic “Snapmap.”

The new feature on our iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks are checking up on our friends and family to see where they are without actually having to ask. We can keep track of anybody in our contacts simply with a request and a share indefinitely response.

In addition to that response, there are options such as share your location for an hour or until the end of the day. It’s convenient for a variety of instances.

Though, like everything, it’s become an addiction to check people’s locations when it has no relevance to our everyday lives. The question is, should we continue down this road that imposes on privacy?

Amanda Skunakis, a junior elementary education student, claims we’re so obsessed with looking at people’s locations because of our general trust issues. Skunakis says, “I feel it’s an invasion of privacy and don’t feel that people need to know my every move; it causes drama.”

She continues with, “ I can understand it if a parent uses these apps on their child in case they break down or get into an accident, however, as far as friends go, I don’t think it’s necessary.”

Find My Friends would be a great asset to have for parents to keep up with their sons and daughters, which may have been the objective when creating the app, though it has turned into a non-essential addition to our devices.

William Schreiber, Ph. D., Chair of Chemistry and Physics Department says that, “It’s comforting to be able to visualize where a person is during a certain point in the day. We feel connected through this device in which we are just the opposite.”

Glances at the map throughout the day occur out of boredom and slight curiosity, though should we be able to access people’s locations just because we can?

Social media and Find My Friends alike, are worthless uses of time and they have become more of an obligation to keep up with our news feeds rather than a likable hobby. Now we feel it is our duty to keep track of the whereabouts of whoever we have shared locations with.

Many have what is called FOMO (the fear of missing out) and because of this we will probably never break ties with our screens or give up our newfound addiction of looking at a map. We’ve somehow become obsessed with keeping up on our friends 24/7. 

For those who do choose to keep their location accessible to friends on “Snapmap”, the question is why? Emily Hager, a junior elementary education student explains, “I share my location only with a select group of close friends who do the same; we each have one another’s location.” Hager believes it is useful to check what her friends are up to rather than texting them or in emergencies when a friend needs a ride.

It’s true that  texts such as, “what are you up to?”  or, “where are you?” have become somewhat of a nuisance to respond to, especially when the person asking has your location. 

Either way, what you choose to do with your device and what you choose to show to other people is up to you. Those individuals who have their location on for anybody to see don’t have an answer as to why.

It’s an intriguing mystery to unravel as to why we do the things we do; one that none of us know the answers to.