Social Media Escapism

Illustration by Steve Cutts – go check him out.
Steve Cutts Blog

You’ve probably heard before about the unhealthy attachment we’ve all developed with our mobile phones, but how seriously have you considered the effect it has on daily life? We’re continually checking our email, our app notifications (god knows there’s so bloody many), and we spend hours a day mindlessly scrolling through our Facebook and Instagram feeds in search of some form of emotional fulfillment, or to just distract ourselves from the reality of daily life, our responsibilities, and our problems.

I can’t count how many times I’ve been a victim to this real-life social rejection when you’re out with a friend, and they have their phone in their hand the whole time, checking each and every minute and texting whoever is on the other end. “How sincere can my friendship with this person be if I am not important enough for them to be with me in the here and now?” I regard it as a very disrespectful thing to do, but somehow, not many people share my sentiment. Would you be doing the same thing when you’re boss is having a one on one meeting with you?

The internet has made the world such a small place, and with the advancements of technology putting a computer in our pockets, we’ve been enabled to connect instantly. So many great things have been made possible; from instant communication and collaboration to research and academic use. We’ve got websites where you can enroll in university courses, apps you can use to learn a new language, and you can even do your shopping online. It was only a few years ago, the blink of an eye now looking back, where these things became possible not only on your computer at home but also on your phone. With all of these things made available to us in a time-frame that I’m not even sure can be measured and compared against that of natural evolution, I can’t help but wonder if we’re ready to handle all of this.

My big question to you today though is: What drives your compulsion for incessant newsfeed scrolling, and how is this affecting your actual real-world relationships?

Social media began as a platform for us to connect and share our lives (or overshare), but I fear it has morphed into something much more dangerous. It has become a place for us to seek validation that our lives are meaningful or relevant. We gauge our worth by the number of likes and reactions we receive on our status updates or that barely-appropriate selfie where you’re showing a bit more skin than you should be. Lest we mention the manner in which people conduct themselves when there is a difference in opinion. It’s just too comfortable to sit behind a screen, dehumanizing the person at the other end, and being a complete monster with no regard for the people you might hurt with your words.

Social media platforms also no longer have their main focus set on creating and improving a platform for people to interact and share their stories; their main focus is monetization. Tell me the last time you scrolled down your feed and didn’t have an encounter with some face on a video trying to sell you something, or trying to convince you that their Get-Rich-Quick scheme is legit and you should spend all your money right now on getting your hands on it?

I finally decided that I had wasted enough of my time like this, scrolling and scrolling. Because despite my views on the matter, I was holding my phone in my hands not 5 minutes after waking up each morning, on Facebook. “What for?” I asked myself? I reckon that I’ve always known that it does not bring real value to my life (the opposite is definitely true) and yet I was still doing it.

Stop the time-sucker

I uninstalled Facebook from my phone and enabled 2FA to try and make it a more strenuous exercise to get logged in. The plan, so it turns out, worked. It’s still early days, so I am not sure how much of an improvement it’s made for me in my life yet, but I can say for a fact that I now at least have a few moments here and there to spend with my thoughts instead of consuming the consumerism nonsense on Facebook.

It’s been a bit of a deviation from my previous content, but I do hope that you have enjoyed it. If you have any opinions or input, please reach out to me as I’d love to have a discussion about this. Until next time…



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