By Ashley Nguyen, Nov. 18, 2021
SAN JOSE, CALIF.- We are constantly tuned into our devices. From as little as infants to the elderly, there is a high chance that you have encountered some form of technology. Social media accumulates a big part of that technological world. It has become our whole world. It has become a dangerous world.
I will admit. I am always glued to my phone. It is something that I hate about myself. When I’m off my phone, I get bored so easily and am constantly looking for the next chance to grab it again. A Harvard University study describes how every single pop up and swipe is a shot of short term dopamine going straight into your system. It’s addicting. It’s the reason why everyone leeches on to their phones any chance they get. However, the study also continues to describe how 73% of people engaged in popular social media applications like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, etc., experience, “a flavor of anxiety.”
In an article published by Education Week, more than half of the middle school and high school students who participated in the study claimed that they turn off their phones to get a sense of relief away from the world, although they are no longer tapped into every new second of an update. This has become our world. We are no longer in tuned to our reality but attuned to videos on a screen that are exciting but lower our self esteem as well.
Every waking moment of our lives, we have instantaneous access to entertainment. Although sometimes it’s harmless and playful, it is inevitable that every now and then, one piece of harmful and misleading information slips into our minds. That is dangerous. Misinformation changes our perspectives, even if it’s a tiny adjustment.
The constant, addicting need for entertainment to fill in every space of silence or calm drags us away from reality. Although easy, immediate access to these social media apps fills in that temporary void of boredom or sadness, we are straying away from our real lives. We are no longer subjected to true love in our relationships or true authenticity. Social media is fake, when everyone is displaying their best self. Alina Tu, a Silver Creek High School student’s take on the matter is, “Social media allows high schoolers to recreate the social norms, but people fail to realize the double sided nature.” The Child Mind Institute talks about how Stanford University calls this all “the duck syndrome.” “The term refers to the way a duck appears to glide effortlessly across a pond while below the surface its feet work frantically, invisibly struggling to stay afloat.” The institute says students projected a “perfect” persona on social media but are struggling mentally behind the screens.
There is a disconnect between social media and real life. We have grown up in such a technology high society that we have forgotten what it is like to be real people.
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