It’s 2016 and social media is absolutely everywhere. If there’s one thing that’s pretty hard (if not impossible) to escape it’s the huge presence of social media and the roles that it plays in our lives. Of course there are amazing things that social media gives us, but I think that spending so much of our time on social media can sometimes mean we aren’t giving ourselves the chance to fully live our lives.
I used to go on social media all the time. I was addicted to Facebook, going on every single minute of every day pretty much. Yes, it’s shameful to admit but it was true at the time. I thought it was really important to constantly refresh the page and be the first to know about everyone else’s lives and business. I wanted to know who had just gotten into a relationship and with whom…all of that kind of stuff that seems so incredibly important when you’re a teenager.
But when I left high school and started going to university, I started to see things differently. I didn’t care as much because I was focusing on enjoying a new experience – I had left the ‘high school’ part of my life behind to move on to the next stage. I stopped caring who was in a relationship with whom and who did what over the weekend.
Now having left university, I’ve slowly stopped using Facebook and checking the news feed. Last year I didn’t go on for at least six months because I simply had no interest in it anymore. I was doing so many other things in my life and social media didn’t interest me as much, if at all. Sometimes I just don’t see what the big deal with Facebook is, why is everyone so interested in it? It’s made so many changes over the last year or so (that I really don’t like) that it’s not the Facebook that I remember growing up using. It’s growing and developing in so many ways that it’s not what it used to be.
Obviously it’s up to each person to decide how much they put on social media, but being the private person that I am, I just don’t understand those people who constantly post what they’re doing every minute of every day. I don’t know why they want the proof of what they did on the weekend all over their page and the news feed for hundreds of people to see. I don’t know why they would upload photos and videos of them drunk and messing around with their friends. I don’t know why some people upload selfies every other day, sometimes it seems like they’re fishing for compliments because they want others to notice their photos when scrolling on the news feed.
When I go on Facebook these days, those things are basically all I see. I can’t help but scroll through and think ‘this is pointless, that is irrelevant…’ when someone says how they can’t be bothered going to work that day or announcing what they had for lunch. It just doesn’t make sense to me why some people think it’s important that hundreds of their ‘friends’ know these trivial and mostly irrelevant things. This is also a really big part of why I stopped using Facebook; I was just so sick of seeing those kinds of posts. They seemed to be everywhere too – it was like everyone had decided to jump on that band wagon and the result was a really boring and pointless news feed to scroll through.
Even now, I hardly ever go on Facebook but for a different reason to the ones mentioned above. Right now I’m in a place in my life where I’m doing the things I love and I’m finally happy; I have a lot going for me. I don’t have time for the little that Facebook offers me anymore and to be honest I’ve considered deleting my account a couple of times. I think there’s so much more to life and we should focus on enjoying every minute that we have instead of spending it on websites like Facebook.
I know it’s their decision, but I know so many people my age that are still refreshing their news feeds every minute and wait for their bulk lot of photos from the weekend to upload. I can’t help but feel both relieved and quite proud of myself that I’m not that person anymore, I’ve seen beyond it and I value life (in a general sense) far more than I used to when I thought Facebook was everything. I want to be someone who is focused on living my life to the maximum in every way that I can, making my own happiness along the way, finding ways to achieve great things while slowly building on my strengths and weaknesses so that I can be proud of myself and the life I’ve built over the years. To be honest, I just don’t have the time or interest in that other kind of lifestyle anymore.
I was a teenager back then and I probably didn’t know any better; social media felt like everything and I couldn’t bare the thought of not checking Facebook for even a few hours of the day. Of course many teenagers are like this, but I feel that we owe it to ourselves to eventually grow out of that phase as we go into our twenties and start living our own lives. At some time or another, we should put our phones down and focus on all the things we want to achieve in our lives and discover new passions and interests.
We should all make it a priority to take the time to recognise and appreciate everything that life has to offer each and every one of us – whether it be small or big. Life is so precious and the sad truth is that the clock is constantly ticking for all of us and we can’t get any of it back – we only have what is left. Why spend another second of it on social media when you could be admiring everything around you and everything you see?
Lucy Rebecca x