Social media has hindered people’s verbal communication and made some intellectually lazy. It’s also become somewhat addicting, creating a vicious cycle of depression, unproductivity, and negative self-image and sense of worthlessness. It has been stated that most people who are addicted to social media tend to be narcissists, or are depressed, and/or insecure.
***Here’s a disclaimer: The internet is a very helpful tool, and it’s become a platform for many creative talents to gain exposure. Artists of all types (musicians, visual artists, writers, poets, lyricist, indie film directors, actors/actresses, fellow bloggers, etc) have used social media of some form to market their talents to the world. This is an example of using the internet auspiciously in a productive and positive manner. So I’m not against all social media, it is a great marketing tool, and allows likeminded people to connect virtually and instantly. Not to mention is has helped the self-employed and small businesses grow and gain notoriety, creating more opportunities for one to prosper.
Now, let’s get into the topic!
How Social Media has Destroyed Minds
1. COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS & SEEKING VALIDATION
I vaguely remember the times before smartphones came out. Yeah, there were still social media sites, but they weren’t as popular or intrusive like they are today. Ever since the inception of the smartphones, social media has dominated the minds and monopolized the time of most people. You may be able to get your mind back, but time is something you can’t get back. Yet it is wasted daily, scrolling through endless pictures, memes, posts, and people compare themselves and their life to others, not realizing that most are facades. Though I do appreciate a comedic meme, comparing yourself to others can get toxic.
While you’re over here wondering why you don’t have what they have, they probably don’t have it either! And even if they do, that doesn’t mean you can’t have achievements.
Instead of being concerned about what you don’t have Focus on how to reach your goals. But you’d never know what they are by looking at another person’s accomplishments.
And we know how addicting social media can be for many. Spending hours and hours, feeling sorry for yourself or jealous, perhaps even hateful towards others. If you were to use that same time and energy on yourself, you’ll have your own story to tell, without the need to see if your life measures up to another person’s. If you ever feel worthless check out this blog right here. Your life is your life. It is not going to be identical to everyone else’s. Each person is born with their own blueprint. And it is up to us to build it with our own niches and creative spins. It’s more impressive that way: to do it your way. It gives you a better sense of pride in your gifts.
In some cases, what you see in a person’s profile may be a facade. The people you try to measure up to, may be trying to measure up to vain standards that only exist in the confines of lost minds, who endlessly try to “keep up” with relevance. But what they uphold isn’t relevant. It’s all vanity. Like King Solomon said that much of this world is vanity.
And speaking of vanity…
2. VANITY & NARCISSISM
These traits have always existed. Nothing is new on the Earth, but social media is a hotbed for vanity and narcissism. You don’t have to showcase any good character or talent, (i mean you could, but there are those who don’t) just appearances, and some have taken that too far, to the point of exposing one’s sacred body in the half-nude or straight-nude for creeps. There’s no love, but it is often mistaken with lust, and that’s just enough to satisfy an insecure person or a narcissist. Then, the attention becomes addicting, as the narcissist revels in the attention galore they receive daily, hypnotizing many, causing others to move solely by animal instincts. It continuously feeds the beast, heavily feeding the narcissists’ egos. Social media becomes their feeding ground for constant rejuvenation of narcissist juice, with no room for self-reflection, reality checks, constructive criticism, and differing opinions. They would perceive any of those things as an attack, and they’ll send their cyberminions after you to make you think you’re wrong even when you’re right. If you want to read more about the depth of emptiness that lies within the narcissists’ cold lifeless eyes, read this.
3. FACE-TO-FACE CONVERSATIONS HAVE BECOME A THING OF THE PAST
It is quite unfortunate indeed, that many of us are forgetting how to socialize the way we’ve been doing so since the dawn of time. I recall back in the early 00s, when the internet was a bit primitive and we had those cool flip phones, we had more in-person contact, block parties, barbecues, meeting up at places to gather at, laugh, and talk. And actually talking on the phone with friends was exciting, we told many stories, then calling became a thing to avoid. Most people prefer texting now. They say it’s because we’re just too busy, but what was different then when we once made time to gather for joy?
Just about everywhere I go… whether it’s a radiant sunlit day at the beach or park, I see people with their eyes glued to the phone, absolutely oblivious to the beauty of nature that is standing right before them. You can’t be on that phone forever! Pretty soon you’re gonna want to go for a swim at the shore. What’s crazy to me is when I see a group of Gen Zs hanging out without speaking to each other, they’re literally texting one another while being in each other’s presence. Wow! That makes no sense to me. [Now, before you “ok boomer” me, I’m actually far from being a boomer. I’m a young millennial, in the cusp of old Gen Z, born in 1995.]
A pet peeve of mine is when someone starts a conversation with you, then they browse through their phone as you’re talking to them, only capturing bits and pieces of what you’ve said. You know they can’t listen fully. It is so rude and annoying. We can acknowledge how it has chopped off listening skills. If you can’t listen well, then all communications have failed. You cannot communicate effectively without listening completely. How else could you provide a legitimate response to the person you’re conversing with? Instead, you get half-a$$ responses that don’t even correspond, so it’s really not worth talking to most people.
4. LOWER ATTENTION SPANS & INTELLECTUAL LAZINESS
It’s become noticeable how low people’s attention spans have gotten. I think part of it has to do with how diluted the languages have become in attempts to take things easier. Texting abbreviations have made us lazy with the spelling and linguistics. This could go on for so long that we’d probably forget what the letters stood for; the abbreviations would become a word in of it itself.
Also, not much thought goes into text conversations. You can easily escape from difficult questions if you’re texting. That’s why texting is the worst way to confront someone. It’s definitely not the way to address an important issue. But people do so anyway.
The preoccupation your mind has to social media can take a hold of you, to the point we’re no longer in tune with reality. And that can make us have lower attention spans as well. We become so inculcated in the easy read memes that may just be bias propaganda, the endless entertainment videos keeps us distracted from deep thoughts, diminishing our capacity for information absorption, and they’re damn sure not meditating because most can’t sit still for a minute without being on the apps.
Oh. And who needs to read books when you’ve got Sparknotes! Sparknotes is intended to be study notes to refresh your mind with the main events of a piece of literature. But many just skip reading and just memorize the notes they didn’t even write. No independent thought required. Thinking is just too much work!
5. WE’VE BECOME ADDICTS
That constant ping! you hear every time you get a notification sends an adrenaline rush to pick up your phone and see what’s going on. You just can’t stop getting on there until all notifications have cleared! But then there’s more and more! It never stops because it’s not designed to stop. I read a facsinating article about how social media was designed similar to casino rewards with psychological conditioning to keep people hooked on it, you can check out this informative article here. I’ve also written another blog regarding addictions: how temptations become addictions.