Is Social Media Taking Over Our Lives?

(Mehmaiz, Lahore)

Social networking websites are cool! They are the tools that let us connect to our loved ones at any time and any place. The websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are only a few examples of social networking services that keep us in touch with our relatives and friends. Like all the other inventions of science and technology, social media also has its pros and cons.

There are many weaknesses attached to these modern tools of connectivity. The Android and iOS applications that allow you to network with your friends come with exciting features and shiny interfaces. The developers of these tools try to keep them attractive to the individuals.

Social games, stories, comments, likes, and emojis are very common these days. It is very rare that you find a person who does not know about these things. According to a report, most of the people spend at least two hours daily on their favorite social networking website. But unfortunately, we don't like to spend a single minute with our grandparents. Also, people have started ignoring their health these days because of the Internet. They don't go out for an exercise or a walk, but they are always ready to use Facebook. Why social media has become an addiction?

Today, there are numerous facilities available to us than there were a few years ago. In the past, people used to spend time with their family while watching TV. But, today, even TV has become a thing of the past. We now read the news stories on our smartphones or tablets. It has become a norm for the young people to play games on Facebook, listen to the music on Spotify or chat with their friends on Snapchat when most of the other members of their family are watching TV. On the other hand, the tech firms are always working to introduce a new feature on their apps almost every other day.

Now, the question is whether the social networking apps are really so addictive? The answer is no. As human beings, we all have a habit of doing what everyone else is doing. If we see someone playing a new game on his phone, we instantly download it and play it too, thinking that it's cool to do that. In this way, we set trends. There are many individuals who have no interest in social media, but they do visit Facebook every other day just to check out what others have posted. Also, many of us click through the newsletters that we receive in our inbox every day from popular social networks.

Furthermore, the notifications like “You have a new friend suggestion,” “You have 5 new posts from your friends,” and “Also read blah blah” are all designed to capture our attention. If you are one of those people who feel like they have accomplished a goal whenever they like or comment a new photo, you are an unfortunate person who has become a target of appealing apps.

Liking the pictures that you really like is a good thing to do. But, liking ever other picture or commenting on every other online post just for the sake of fun is not something you should do. Using social media is easier than achieving something. It is not hard to scroll through your social media pages, but what's hard are the things like doing something good for yourself or stepping out of your comfort zone to find a better job.

By doing the same thing every other day — reading fake news stories on social media, posting selfies — you become unsatisfied with your life. For instance, when you see a rich personality on social media, you start comparing yourself with them. You feel like your life sucks. Although many social networks have recently launched features to control untrue stories, there are people who make fake things go viral. When you read all of your news from only one source, you fail to get the real picture of the things making headlines in the world. Also, many people think they have great intelligent people as their friends on social media. But, this also is a tactic used by the tech firms to grab your attention. They design their apps in a way that they show you what's more relevant to you or the things that you like the most.

To limit the time you spend on social media, start adopting healthy habits like going out with your friends, participating in the sports. Instead of checking your social profiles after waking up in the morning, try to go out for a morning walk. Moreover, there are apps designed to limit your social media usage. You can search and download them from the Play Store or App Store. Aside from this, unfollow the irrelevant pages and groups that you are following on the Internet. Instead of chatting with your friends on the web, arrange meetings with them. If all fail, then ask a friend or relative to help you in limiting your social media usage.

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