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SocietySocial Media Detox.

Byline: Ibra Amir

Years ago, we all joined social media as a new method of communication with our loved ones and interact with people across the globe. However, is social media providing the ease and comfort it was introduced for? The pandemic restrained us to the boundaries of our homes and we found social media as a way of connecting with people when we could not meet them in person. Staying home all day, with nothing better to do than vigorously use social media, introduced us to the dark side of this technology. While we were familiar that this negative side of social networking sites had always been in existence, not every person had experienced it.

Cyberbullying, mean comments, unnecessary arguments with strangers are all part of the long list of cons of social media. Without our knowing, social media has crept its way into our lives and has now become an integral part that we cannot abandon at any cost. A recent diagnosis called FOMO - Fear of Missing Out - has developed among social media users. It is a social anxiety that compels users to check their notifications, DMs and statuses every 10 minutes for a new update, fearing that they might skip something and would later find it trending while they would remain in oblivion. This condition is endemic among young adults, especially those whose lives are entirely technology-dependent. At the worst stage, you could also become a victim of panic and anxiety attacks as it will keep nagging you in your subconscious.

In 2020, Netflix launched a documentary called "The Social Dilemma" that revealed how social media is controlling our lives. Ex-employees of famous social networking sites came forward to unveil the dark truth. One of them said that you either check your phone in the morning when you wake up or when you are in the bathroom and there is no third option. This shows the gravity of the situation and how addicted we have become. The use of cookies is so powerful that the user's screen time increases without their knowledge when they are showing things of their liking. "The technology that connects us also controls us", according to a documentary. It released exclusive information and experiments on users and the strong impact it had on our daily lives. A study conducted on 5000 people proved that close association with social media resulted in a decline in mental and physical health. Hate speech, extreme campaigns and false news have doubled in the past 2 years, according to the documentary. Cybercrime is at its apex in the 21st century.

Narcissistic behaviour is also promoted through excessive social media use. According to the film, while uploading a picture, users expect an inflow of likes and comments. When this does not happen, they feel that they are not admired and crave even more attention. On the one hand, as we are making efforts to break society's stereotypes and, on the other, social media users are driving themselves once again towards the need for society's approval - something activists are trying to escape. A trend is common among bloggers called "Instagram vs. Reality". The lives of people portrayed on the screen are not everything they do. It is just one aspect of it. We compare ourselves with them and degrade our existence.

Often, our stance on various issues is dictated by social media as we are only familiar with one side of the coin. False news spreads faster than the truth. We believe in everything displayed on that LED screen, instead of doing our own research. There's an infinite amount of information available out there. We need to see for ourselves what part of it we must absorb and what to ignore.

But how to suppress this dangerous impact on human lives? Many online influencers have started a trend called "Social Media Detox". They encourage their followers to join them one day a week or month in which they completely abandon the use of social media. Many have said that this practice has had an incredibly positive effect on their mental health and their day-to-day productivity. Routinely cutting off connection with social media helps users to overcome FOMO as well.

"All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone." - Blaise Pascal.

Generation Z neglects the importance of little things in life that make it valuable and add spice to it. Walk in the park and you would find people's hearing restrained by earphones. The purpose of exercising in open air is to connect with nature and feed your soul. How is that possible by shutting down the world through loud music? We have become so addicted to technology that it is impossible to abandon it even for a few minutes.

Sitting in a room full of people, you notice that everyone's eyes are glued to their mobile phone screens. But some people loathe the use of this infecting technology. The question arises that as people are practicing social media detox and realizing the lethal impact of it on their daily lives, will humanity go back to an age of meeting people in person and hand-written letters? We may not be able to completely reverse to a non-social media world, but we should not allow our lives to be overruled.
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Author:Ibra Amir
Publication:Slogan
Date:Jul 14, 2021
Words:884
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