Today we live in a world controlled by social media. People walk with their heads buried in their phones, and they care more about likes or the latest trends than they do for each other. Many are spending time trying to perfect the latest TikTok challenge rather than with their friends and family.
Even when you are with people, are you really there? Are you fully present? Most of the time the answer is no. Being physically at a table is different from sitting there and engaging with those around you. Because of social media, conversations are half-hearted and often results in having to repeat yourself multiple times.
“Likes” equate to popularity on social media, and the more likes and followers you have the more popular you are considered. Being popular on social media is not the same as having friends in real life. Someone on Instagram could have eight thousand followers but have no friend in real life. What many fail to realize is that it is better to have a few great friends than to have many acquaintances.
In life we could be constantly surrounded by people and have no idea because we care more about what is going on in our phones than the world around us. This is not our fault, not entirely. We grew up with technology and social media. We use it for class, for fun, and when we are bored. Babies have their blankets that they turn to when they need to feel secure, but when we feel scared and alone we turn to our screens instead of the person sitting right next to us. It is rare that you see two people interacting face-to-face these days and it is monumental when two strangers interact face-to-face. It is not that we are incapable of performing such tasks, but that many are simply afraid to. Because we have become accustomed to interacting through social media, conversations are shorter, less proper, and very rarely included small talk. People no longer make eye contact when they speak to you, or ask questions, or provide verbal ques.
Being on social media is fun and interesting, but it is not everything. One cannot let the digital world consume then as that is not only detrimental to one’s mental wellbeing, but it can also affect one professionally. Social media might be a part of your professional life and work tasks, but it is only a small part. The main thing people do in a work setting is interact with others. If an employee is unable to do that then they night not fare well in their profession.
When people are forced away from their phones, they do not know what to do. Talking to people becomes a forced task that many would rather never endure. We are more alone in this world of social media than ever before. While we might be interacting with people online, we are secluded from the world around us. I believe this is something we need to work on and will always need to look to improve. If we allow our lives to be overrun by media, then we will never truly be able to enjoy the life we are meant to be living.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University