Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Confessions of a Social Media Addict

I downloaded Pinterest the other day. It was possibly the worst and best mistake of my life. I stayed up for two hours one night ‘pinning’ pictures of cats doing funny things, floral skirts and moody boys from angsty teenage bands. Why? It’s not because I don’t have a million and one other things to do, it’s because I literally can’t tear myself away from social media.

Snapchat took away it’s ‘Best Friend’ feature this week, a visible list of people you and other fellow snappers Snapchat most frequently. I was distraught, obviously, like many other Snapchat users, how else where you going to keep tabs other people’s relationships now?

It truly is a sad day when you come to the realisation that you count Twitter bird logos in your sleep and keep your phone next to your bed, just in case one of your friends sends you a snapchat of the Netflix programme they’re watching- you know, ground-breaking stuff.

To tell you the truth, no, I don’t care that you died your hair pink, and no, I don’t care that that it’s snowing where you are at the moment- that white stuff that falls from the sky, yeah, I’ve seen it before. I just like to be in the know- as in, I don’t care if you have that “cheeky Nando’s,” but if you do, I’d like to know about it please.

The same with Facebook- so called ‘friends’ that I probably wouldn’t know if I fell over them, I still can’t bring myself to delete from my virtual life. No, I couldn’t give two hoots about that mean girl I used to go to school with having her hundredth child, or has since gained a lot of weight- it just makes me feel better about myself.

I narrate my whole life over Twitter, which is totally unnecessary thinking about it. No one cares that my food shop is arriving tomorrow and no one cares that my lunch consisted of a donut and coffee that one time (although it did get ‘favorited’ by four people, just saying.)

I find myself trying to concentrate on a lecture that in an ideal, social media free world, I would find very interesting. But where there is a pen in one hand, there is also a phone in the other- with WhatsApp open, sending useless dolphin emojis and hysterical made up words to my flatmates.

Pinterest is just the final nail in the coffin really. Although my ‘boards’ are quite creatively named if I do say so myself (‘Cats: Masters of the Universe’ being my personal favourite) – there are only so many cat pictures one can take, if you can believe that to be possible.  

Now I’ve got that off my chest, I can also say it’s not only me. I’m not the only crazy internet lady around here. The people with their laptops open in lectures are either on Facebook, internet shopping or playing a really intense game of Tetris. And when there is that awkward pregnant pause in a conversation, people turn to their trusty smartphones for comfort- pretending to do something urgently important but are really scrolling through Kendall Jenner’s Instagram feed.

The, what I like to call ‘Professionals of Society’ seem to think we are in fact, obsessed with social media. But, hey, I could’ve told you that- so what is the psychology behind it all? Social psychologist Larry Rosen, writing for Psychology Today, states “We have not sunk to the level of psychiatric disorder like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but we are not far away. Just watch people in the world around you. If you are watching a young person who is not looking at his or her phone keep watching. Soon that phone will come out of the pocket or purse, most likely without having gotten an alert or notification but being driven by a combination of pleasure and anxiety.”

If this is true, we have turned into the generation of insistence- we need constant stimulation from our digital friends and crave instant gratification in order to make us feel better about ourselves. And we love it. Don’t pretend that when you get over 11 likes on a ‘selfie’ you posted on Instagram, your next thought isn’t “someone hand me that damn modelling contract!”

Nothing we do matters any more unless someone else knows about it. Who cares that you had an amazing, once in a life time experience at Glastonbury if you don’t chronicle it in your Snapchat story? Who cares that you’re expecting unless you post weekly updates about the progress of your pregnancy?

So, yes my name’s Georgia and I’m a social media addict. It’s not something I’m proud of, there’s a chance it could be driven by crippling anxiety, but that’s not going to stop me telling you what I ate for dinner tonight via Twitter (…it was spaghetti Bolognese- come on, how could you not be interested?)   

Talking of which, fancy following me on Twitter and Instagram? Click on the links to right. 

More 'How To' guides, reviews and other miscellaneous material coming soon! 

As always, thank you so much for reading!  

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