Pulling the plug on social media


Seven months ago, I made a decision that most people wouldn’t even think about doing: I gave up Facebook and got rid of my smart phone. And you know what? I’ve never been happier.

Part of the problem that I had with Facebook was the drama. Everybody was posting and fighting about their political views, couples were stressing about when they would go “Facebook Official”, and the chat made it way too easy to gossip or get into fights.

Facebook was a gross distraction from my schoolwork and allowed me access to a plethora of trivial information. Having a smartphone made it no better. I was connected to everything and everyone 24/7. While the world is so connected to everything, we might convince ourselves into actually believing that we are omnipotent.

People may believe that we have no chance of becoming the dystopian society described in books such as 1984 by George Orwell, because there is so much readily available information on the Internet. However, I think we should really take a second look at ourselves. While Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, who is essentially the philosophical opposite of Orwell, feared those who would give us so much information that we would rather read our News Feed than protest human rights violations.

I fear that Huxley may have been right in his prediction. Even in the short time that I have been away from social media and around the clock information, I have paid more attention to current events and the world around me.

Instead of getting snippets of information, I am reading newspapers and watching news and learning more in depth than I could on Twitter or Facebook.  Also, spending less time in dark rooms looking at flickering computer screens makes me feel healthier.  I have to confess that sometimes I find myself on Reddit and other seemingly meaningless websites, but I try hard not to be consumed by them.

Even if you don’t want to take it to the extreme and completely cut out social media and replace your smartphone with a dumbphone, I truly recommend that you take a break and just think about how different your life would be if you didn’t post that status update and instead went outside and walked your dog or went for a jog.

Think about it.


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