Breaking The Habit

Vertical Age: How Social Media Affects You

The positive and negative impacts of social media on our daily lives.

Social media: the boon and bane of the 21st century. 

It’s arguably the best invention in contemporary history. At the same time, it is also the most capable attention-grabber the world has ever seen. With platforms such as Facebook and TikTok, human civilization has never come this far in terms of connectivity.

But have you ever stopped the “doom-scrolling” to think about how it affects you? Let’s discuss.

It Starts With A Notification

Social media platforms are designed to keep you online as much as possible.

They want you glued to your screen. It’s how these companies make money. While it looks harmless on paper, it is very much like cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. Platform use can and will inflict upon you an addiction if you leave yourself unchecked.

It starts with a notification. It’s how social media lures you in. And when you bite…it can be too late.

You see, receiving a Like or a share generates the same “reward” chemical that follows after winning on a slot machine or smoking a cigarette. This is called ‘dopamine’ and the more you’re rewarded, the more you’ll want. The more time you’ll want to spend on your device. Even if it interferes with other aspects of your life.

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Slaves To Our Screens

Everyone’s guilty of stopping whatever they were doing to check on that new notification. People are afraid of being out of the loop. Why is that?

Because human beings are social creatures. 

We need the companionship of others in order to thrive in life. It’s how we got here in the first place. However, the main problem lies in how social media interferes with our day-to-day lives as we once knew them.

You see, people access these platforms through smartphones, tablets, or laptops. While this makes it very convenient to keep in touch, it also means that it is always within our reach. This round-the-clock accessibility can trigger impulse control problems. At the same time, incessant alerts and notifications are a constant disruptor of our daily lives. 

It interferes with our:

  1. Work and Livelihood
  2. Personal Relationships
  3. Civic and Familial Duties
  4. Sleep
  5. Safety and Security

Due to all of this, we became slaves to our screens. It stopped our lives cold.

So the question is: How do we get our lives back?

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How To Get Your Life Back

Every individual and his/her platform use is different. There is little research suggesting a given amount of time spent on social media indicates one’s use is unhealthy.  Rather, it has a lot more to do with social media’s impact on your mood and other aspects of your life. That may just be the easier thing to measure, and one you may not need experts to reveal to you. If it somehow causes you to neglect major aspects of your life or leaves you feeling negative — it may be time to reassess or control your habits. You can do this by:

  1. Turning off your phone at certain times of the day
  2. Disabling phone notifications
  3. Monitoring your screen time
  4. Not bringing your phone to the bedroom
  5. Spending more quality time with your loved ones

Truthfully, the best solution is to delete all of your social media apps. But that is not going to be possible, because it is now so integrated into our lives. So, it is all about regulation. 

You see, social media is not all bad. It is actually a tremendous advancement in our technology. However, you must also look out for yourself and for others in your use and consumption.

Because as the saying goes: Too much of anything is a bad thing!

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