Guest Comment: Time to say goodbye to SoMe

I am 19 and I have deleted my social media accounts. Here’s why I think you should too.

Something resonated
A few months ago I decided to delete my account. On holiday with friends I watched a children’s film called ‘Bridge to Terabithia’. It was an incredibly authentic, relatable film; friendship and the simplicity of living were its central themes. I couldn’t quite figure out the message behind it, but I just knew it did something to the way I saw the world.

So after I finished the movie, I deleted all my social media accounts. The main reason I did it I think is because I felt so distant from the world and social media only took me further away from reality.

I knew I had to be in the real world. And social media isn’t real. It is a false reality and it is inhumane.

Completely unimportant
Many people may think that social media is a basic technology of the 21st century and living without it would be like riding a horse to . According to Dr. Cal Newport (TedTalk ‘Quit Social Media’, 2016), isn’t it. Social media is not a necessity, but just a form of entertainment.

Dr. Newport claims that the social media companies offer you little treats in exchange for the minutes of your personal data, which can then be bundled up and sold. His opinion reminds me of the quote I heard a while ago in the popular documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’: “If you don’t pay for the product, you are the product.”

I do not pay for Instagram or other social media. I felt provoked by the meaning of the quote. I definitely don’t want to be a product. I am a human being. However, I can’t help but think the quote is onto something.

Make fools of us
Dr. Newport also states that social media is not only a form of entertainment, but an unpleasant source of entertainment. His argument is that we know that the big social media companies employ so-called ‘attention engineers’ whose sole job is to make us addicted to social media.

Some people may think that it doesn’t matter much if they become addicted as they can easily control it and so on. But the risk of addiction itself is not the only problem, it is more about what it is we are addicted to.

Jaron Lanier, an American computer expert and author of the book ‘Ten Reasons to Delete Your Social Media Accounts Right Now’, raises concerns about the way it manipulates the truth and can make fools of some social media users.

Causes many psychological problems
It has been proven by multiple studies that social media contributes to loneliness, , depression, FOMO, stress, low mood, overstimulation, lack of concentration, etc. And to top it all off, a 2021 study by a psychiatrist and brain researcher, Dr. Caroline Leaf, states that digital media is destroying our brains.

We are simply getting dumber and our ability to think rationally is declining. It’s scary to think that so many of us still use it when there are so many sources offering scientific evidence of how insane social media really is.

There are several other sources, platforms and documentaries documenting the pitfalls of social media. The arguments that I have mentioned here are only the tip of the iceberg.

No regrets!
However, the point is that since I deleted my social media, I have become happier and more confident in myself as a person. I know for sure that I have made a sensible decision.

Therefore, I think that more people should at least consider moving away from their social media. I am sure it will result in a positive outcome!

Source: The Nordic Page




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