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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Un-social media desensitizes life

Amanda Irons
Amanda Irons

I am suffering from social media exhaustion.

It seems I can’t so much as attend an event without the hand of social media nudging me to make a status update, tweet or photo upload to mark the occasion. All it takes is attending a concert to see the cloud of cellular devices hovering above the crowd trying to capture the most captivating picture to see how big this problem has become.

The problem is evident while walking through campus and seeing my peers making faces into their phones, contorting their eyes and lips into ungodly angles to send to their besties for a solid laugh.

Social media rears its head at every party,  while you walk your dog through the park and even during your trip to visiting grandma. When you’re watching the sunset and feeling that unsettling urge to pull the phone out of your pocket, it’s there. Social media wants to pull you away from reality long enough to snap a photo, make some absolutely necessary edits, figure out the perfect caption and accompanying hashtags. After posting, you realize the sunset’s over, grandma’s asleep, your dog pooped on the sidewalk and you’ve been so busy on your phone that you haven’t actually spoken to a real person in an hour.

Put the cellphone down.

Slowly walk away.

Relax your shoulders and remember to breathe.socialmedia

Our generation has grown up with revolutionary technology that has embedded itself into our existence. We are so concerned with always being connected  that we lose real human interaction.  Now staying in touch means having to constantly update your friends and followers.

It’s exhausting.

More and more often I find myself scrolling through the endless news feed on Facebook, observing the photos upon photos that my peers are posting and wondering if my life is as interesting as theirs. It seems that everyone is always doing something while I’m stuck at home.  So I keep refreshing the news feed in hopes of another post to entertain myself for a little bit longer.

I flip through tabs of other social media sites. I check their updates. I pull out my phone and check my apps. Where does it end? When do I stop being an observer and start being a contributor?

That’s what fuels me to keep uploading photos of myself at any event that I attend. It’s to create this persona that I’m interesting. People can read my statuses and feel like they’re connected to me, and my life, without all the hassle of actually talking to me.

I can shamelessly admit that I am guilty of feeding the social media monster, but confronting the problem is always the first step. Now comes the hard part. Resisting the urge to press refresh. Acknowledging that there is no reason to have myself plastered across social media and that I’m ignoring the beautiful people and places around me. I no longer want to miss out on the experiences around me because I’m too plugged in to other people’s lives.

Enjoy the world unplugged. Life is happening all the time. Don’t miss out because you’re too busy looking at your phone.

 

Amanda Irons can be reached at [email protected] or @Amanda_Irons on Twitter.

Illustration by Liz Coffee.

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