This video has been a hype on the internet over the past view days;
It's not the first time a similar message is send, and it's probably not the last time.
Over the years, I've seen many of those messages seen popping up on (how ironically) social media. And while the intention is good, I think the whole "quit social media" thing in general is a bit too one-sided. They don't realize that social media isn't just something we can stop over a day. It has become a collective mindset. A communication standard. Like phone calls and letters used to be our main form of communication in the 90's, social media now has become our standard for communication.
The matter is the same. It's just the medium that shifted.
I didn't have a Facebook account until late 2011, and I didn't have a smartphone until early 2012 (and that was only because my boss got me a new phone, and it happened to be smart). Yes, I was late. The reason for that? I absolutely hated the smartphone generation!
Not long before that, I went to a meeting of a local internet forum. It was the first time since (I think) 5 years there was a meeting. The earlier meetings of the community were always a lot of fun. Not that we did something special. Just hanging out, checking out shops, and talking. It was nevertheless a lot of fun. The new meeting, however, wasn't anywhere near that fun. I can remember going there with a good friend of mine. He, just like me, didn't have a smartphone, and we were the only 2 people that actually talked to each other. The others just kept staring at their phones and laughed about all kind of things that happened online and we didn't get at all. I can still remember us sitting at a bar, having a drink, when 2 people that sat NEXT TO EACH OTHER where laughing about the fact that they just commented on each other's Twitter. Not even 10 face-palms could make up for that... Needless to say; we left soon after that.
When I first got Facebook, I was a bit hesitant on what to post there. I had been on the internet for long, yet I never liked sharing personal details with people. But even despite I didn't share that much, social media was a great experience for me. It has opened up my world entirely!
As a shy person, I always hated making phone calls. I didn't like "just going" to a persons house and tell them I wanted to do something. I felt like forcing myself up to people, and I didn't like that. Let alone that keeping contact with those that studied in another city or abroad was really hard, because of the huge costs of phone calls or traveling. Social media, in that regard, was the perfect solution for me. Because now, all of a sudden, I could stay updated of what was happening in the lives of friends and family that didn't live around the corner. I could send them a message and they could answer at any given time they want -- regardless of timezone. It made communication a bit more open-ended. And that worked very well for me.
As an introverted person, I don't always feel like answering people. Now I can just take things at my own pace.
What about the people that get depressed over Facebook, you'd ask me? Well, everything has it's downsides. Of course people try to sketch a perfect picture of them selves. We leave out the negative. We don't post statuses when feeling miserable, because we don't want all of our friends to know when we have a bad day. Then again; did we go to see friends on bad days? I happen to remember that there were days in life, far before social media, that I didn't feel like going out at all. And that I just stayed at home because I felt like shit.
The mistake that many people make is that they see social media profiles as a realistic view on people's life. It isn't. It's more like a summary of the best experiences this person has had over the past time. And if you take that into consideration, social media isn't all that depressing.
Before you think I'm preaching social media; I'm not. There certainly are aspects of social media that I don't like at all. One of those things is that nowadays all discussions are so centered about the "me", rather than about a neutral subject (like it used to be, in the early days of the internet forums). That people blabber about totally useless things (like going to the bathroom -- who the f*ck cares???), or that people use it as a medium to bully and threaten others. And... of course there's that facepalm-worthy situation in which people that are sitting less than a meter apart prefer to communicate over Twitter instead of actually opening their mouths and saying something.
But like with everything; moderation is the key.
Everything that is overdone gets annoying, and social media is no exception in that.
Over the past years, I've seen people on both sides of the spectrum. From the people that were active on 10+ social media sites, posted every meal on Instagram, and almost seemed fused with their phone. To the people that hated social media and didn't want to have anything to do with it. You know... both extreme's aren't good. The first group tends to get ignored because they spend so much time telling how awesome their life is on social media, that they don't have time to actually live. The second group is basically excluded from information, even though this isn't always done on purpose. I can remember that we had one guy in our group of friends that was basically anti social media. When we arranged a meeting in a Facebook group chat, one always had to remind us to invite person-X as well because he didn't have Facebook. And sometimes... we just forgot.
There are many people that quit social media for a while, just to experience what would happen. Experiences differ from person to person, but are all interesting to read. If you're curious to know how your life would look without it, I encourage you to just try quitting it for a week or two and see what happens.
I've done so too and I can assure you; It won't kill you. It will make you think.
Every new technology and every new means of communication comes with pro's and con's. And every new development comes many people that oppose it because they say "things used to be better". Sure, you're allowed to reflect upon that. I would only encourage that. But the point is that it's a continuous movement that you aren't gonna stop, no matter how much you fight against it. Instead of saying how things used to be better, try to get comfortable with how things are now. Make the best out of it!
Not everything is as bad as it seems. Sometimes you just need to get used to things...