Are you one of those people who automatically goes to Facebook every time they open a web browser?
Do you often find yourself staring at your cellphone without remembering why you opened the app you are scrolling?
Do you immediately tap on a social media app every time you unlock your phone?
If you answered yes to the above questions, you might be addicted to social media.
According to Dr. Suzana Flores’s recent book “Facehooked,” social media addiction has become a rampant phenomenon in recent years. The result of this is most of us using social media constantly, mindlessly and without much intention behind our continual scrolling.
I think we all have heard and can agree with the concept that humans are social animals. To me, this statement entails that we are creatures always at least subconsciously in need of human interaction.
Social media has provided a very accessible substitution to these interactions, and our phones have placed these substitutes at our fingertips.
True human interaction is a complete experience with many components to it—voice, body language and facial expressions all work to convey nuanced emotions.
The language choices we use during interactions are only a small portion of communication. Meeting up with someone and catching up with their life is much more satisfying than reading their posts or even clicking through their Snapchat stories.
Even so, we end up scrolling down our social media absentmindedly to fill the time when human contact is not so readily available. This is very dangerous.
We are basically giving social media, and the companies who use it to advertise, a very direct window to our subconsciouses. It terrifies me that I am so vulnerable to advertiser agendas while thoughtlessly soaking in the content of my social media feed.
Despite my views against mindless scrolling, I would be remiss not to state that social media does have positive qualities.
It has given all of us an unprecedented means in which to express ourselves to the world.
This is something our parents could not enjoy growing up. However, because new forms of social media have developed so fast, we have taken it for granted.
We have not prioritized using social media for much more than an antidote to boredom, which prevents us from really considering what we are mindlessly taking in.