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SOCIAL MEDIA: GOING VIRAL AND GOING GONE

If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc. It would be hard to find someone who has not heard, in this internet era, at least one of these social media platforms. When traditional reading, viewing, and listening pivoted to digital platforms, our screen time also increased. It made us more glued to our gadgets it may as well be our fifth limb.

Social Media is a powerful tool to create influence, spread awareness, and talk more about various social issues and advocacies. However, just like everything else in life, too much of something can sometimes cause harm. Knowing when to pull the brakes or take a pause from all that’s going on in this loud and full digital space can help us balance our online and offline life. 

Information at our fingertips

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There is a reason why you often read the phrase, “Think before you click.” For starters, we release and ingest tens of thousands of data every minute. Research from Domo’s Data Never Sleeps 5.0 report shows that we tweet 456,000 tweets on Twitter, make 4,146,000 views on Youtube, and post 46,740 photos on Instagram. All these on a per minute basis.

We process all the information and create copies of it through the brain like a photocopier machine. It makes us preoccupied and busy even when we are just sitting or lying in bed. Sometimes, our screen time takes up the space intended for resting.

With this much activity, we barely feel the need to take a break because, thanks to commerce and marketing, for every reason we can come up with to take a social media cleansing, they would come back with multiplied reasons to tap our fingers on our phones – back online.

Urge to connect

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Imagine that time when international calls would cost hundreds or even thousands of pesos, just for a couple of minutes. Or that time when sending urgent messages would cost a few pesos per word through telegram.

What a time to be alive to have more options to connect with people, wherever you are in the world – all in the name of making our digital prints in this seemingly never-ending void. The world wide web is indeed so vast that some would even argue that we are only scratching its surface.

Our thirst to create meaningful connections and answers to our questions are processed every second. Thanks to the clever algorithms most social media platforms use, they make things easier for us to execute without moving all of our muscles.

But what are we really giving in exchange for all these conveniences?

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When you are online, does it make you feel more connected or less? We all wish to find relatable content or something we can talk about with others through sharing. But when the contents we subscribe to start setting up unrealistic expectations, it could hit us in places that could hurt us.

Many people would experience a decline in self-esteem by simply looking at almost always too good content to be true. Back then, television is our primary influence in nearly everything we do. From the way we talk, eat, dress, and even how we connect with other people. At some point, many of us experience becoming the people we are not – all because our most raw and authentic selves are far less admirable based on our subscription of things.

Now, we have various social media platforms filled with content telling us to do this to look good or do that to stand out. Some would even go to lengths to cryptically tell you; you are less if you are not doing or using a particular product.

There is just so much to see, so much to post, share, and talk about. Sometimes, we fail to pay more attention to how it is already affecting us, physically and mentally.

It’s a black hole

Photo from Tech.co

Our mobile phones or gadgets are our fifth limb. Sometimes, we do things through muscle memory. You go to bed; you check your phone until you fall asleep. You go on a break; you take a flat-lay IG-worthy photo of your lunch. You take your usual commute while watching Youtube videos until you reach your drop-off. There are just so many things we do while keeping ourselves connected.

Since the internet pretty much has answers or suggestions to everything that pops into your mind, it also means that it is filled with things intended to keep you from going offline. From an unsuspecting ad up to the next suggested video to watch; it’s a vicious cycle, and it would take you further if you don’t know when to stop.

Social Media is a one-stop shop. It has no filters. It would show and recommend things you didn’t know you needed. It is also too noisy and chaotic, but it is also all-so helpful in every way possible. Learn to balance things and create boundaries. Not all our documentation of memories, thoughts and fleeting moments are diamonds. Always remember that the internet is written in ink. It could reach people you would meet in the future. Taking the time to think before you click is a responsible way of ensuring you won’t be haunted by something likely to outlive you.

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