SOUR | Time to Check In on our Social Media Usage

SOUR | Time to Check In on our Social Media Usage

Social media has become an integral part of our lives. However, with the ever increasing saturation of story updates, "likes" and streaks flooding our day-to-day activities, this does raise the question: Is the amount of time we spend on social media a cause of concern?

Story & Photo by Khaw Pi Yun (Ash)

It’s hard to imagine life without social media, even though that was a reality just a few years ago. "Likes", "hashtags" and cat videos… They’ve all been introduced to us through these flourishing platforms, and at such a rapid pace that it’s almost absurd. However, beyond the beds of roses lie a thorn in our side: Is social media affecting us in negative and subliminal ways?

Never before has society had access to such an open network for us to share anything we want to. More importantly, social media has enabled for the average individual to have a greater say in society’s conversations as opposed to consolidated media outlets, enabling for greater diversity in issues raised.

Perhaps it's time for a quick reality check, that reveals some concerns. Questions can be raised about the general wholesomeness of much of the content on social media.

Are we at times oversharing? Companies like Snapchat and Instagram thrive on having its users sharing almost everything they are doing on self-destructing "stories". I’m sure most of us know what this entails. Post after post of every part of your friends’ lives, some of which should honestly be questioned as to whether it’s necessary to have shared - such as.

The significance of affirmative actions on social media is also up for debate. Just how much do these "likes" and "hearts" represent?

Far too often, I have encountered people around me panicking at the thought of a Snapchat "streak" running out - a numerical representation of how many consecutive days a pair of users have sent posts to each other. “Don’t lose the fire” is a familiar sentence that springs to mind.

According to a study by the University of California, it takes an average of 23 minutes for one to refocus their attention back to their work after being distracted. Not only that, but having an influx of constant interruptions eventually train us to develop self-interrupting behaviour - one that, statistically, can affect us every three and a half minutes.

So how do we achieve an online world where our time is managed better? Well, start by asking questions.

Question how often you are on social media. Is this time being well spent?

Question what you are unlocking your smartphone or computer for. Is it going to be a productive use of social media, or another session of time wasting?

Empower yourselves through making better use of social media, your time, and ultimately your life. After all, the clock never ticks backwards.

 

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