Under The Influence: A Social Drug

Connection is made easier through social media. It allows us to stay in touch while keeping our distance. Just remember, your life on social media will never be more important than remaining present in your life offline.

The whole world fits in our hands and in our pockets.

When it comes to the vast world of social media, we have everything literally at the tips of our fingers. An entire world right in the palms of our hands that we conveniently fit in our pockets. From books, fashion, food, music, writing, adventure, travel, to friends, and social groups; we have it all because we have our phones to supply it.. but when does much needed screen time become too much screen time? When does our sweet escape into the digital world turn into being trapped outside of our tangible reality? Does balance online equate to balance in our everyday lives as well? These are the questions I find myself asking as I talk myself into spending "only 5 more minutes" on my browser, instead of logging off to spend 5 more minutes sleeping, or eating, or texting my family group chat back. A beautiful life also comes with wonderful balance. The better questions to pose to yourself while scrolling as opposed to cooking a fabulous meal is, "what am I feeding myself?" 

You are worth more than LIKES.

Living in the 21st century is hard enough without social media making you feel stagnant and complacent in your life. Whether you are just starting college or looking forward to retirement, you should be proud of your many accomplishments and applaud yourself for taking the risks and making it this far. While social media has become a catalyst for job opportunities for millions and produces aesthetically pleasing content for motivation and inspiration, it has also been detrimental in the overwhelming rise of depression. Social media outlets like Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Tiktok, and Snapchat (just to name a few) have caused users to believe the life they're living offline is not worth living at all.

Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple Inc.

These man-made apps don't define our worth.

These apps were created for entertainment at the core, but believe me, I can relate to opening my social medias and going on a mass purge of who I am following and what I allow myself to see. Social media has its beauty but I would be lying if I said I've never logged off feeling a little less than good about myself from before typing in my login info. Social media has caused people just like you and I, to believe that if they don't have over 100k followers, sponsorships from major brands, or knowledge of the newest technologies and hottest trends, that they will lose their dreams, passions, and businesses faster than it took them to start. Sometimes it feels like when you don't get those likes on a picture that took you days to get the courage to even post, it makes you feel like you shouldn't even post anything at all.

What we need to remember is that social media is essentially the "highlight reel" of someones life. Where you are currently in your life is not dependent upon how many likes, followers, or retweets you get. It should be based and built upon the amount of passion, hardworking, dedication, and faith you have in yourself and your work. You don't have to rate your capabilities with a score out of a 100 because an app says otherwise. These apps could be here today, but easily gone tomorrow.

Morgan Harper Nichols- Writer

The lost art of physical interaction.

Sometimes it may feel like physical interaction has become a lost art. Even before a world wide pandemic, we lost the desire to make real connections to people walking down the street, and even in our own homes. Most of the social interaction that happens in our day to day lives depend less on physical interactions. It is more likely that someone will tell you what happened on Twitter rather than the colors of the sunset. 

We can sometimes spend so much of our time comparing our lives to others online, instead of living our real lives offline. It is unhealthy to focus more on other peoples timelines than our own. We must learn how to balance life on and off our screens if we are ever going to have a life we desire. You are important to this world; an intricate detail in the grand scheme of things. If mysteriously the world of social media came crashing down all around us, you will still be here. You will still be an artist, musician, a model, actress, a writer, a painter, athlete, and a successful entrepreneur. Social media does not define your talent. YOU DO!

Charles Bukowski -Author

You are an interact detail.

There is joy to be found in the art of social media, in the way it connects us and helps us decompress from a long and stressful day. With all that being said, don't doubt yourself after you log off. Use this amazing outlet to protect and perfect your craft. Use it as a digital resume for who you are currently, and who you are working towards becoming in the future.

Social media can help us connect with people from around the world. We can sit in rooms we would have never dreamed of being invited to with this very powerful source, so do not be afraid to utilize the people around you and the resources provided to you. We are living in a day and age where we have access to way more information than we truly know what to do with.

Utilize the people around you.

If you aren't tech savvy, thats okay! There are classes and Youtube/Tiktok videos to help you start a passion project, perfect your growing craft, or even start a business. If you ask, I am positive that your family, colleagues, friends, and even strangers will give you the tips, tricks, and the tools you will need to be successful online and offline. Take everything you are learning online and bring it to the outside world as well. Make this social media thing work for your in real life too!

Vincent van Gogh- Painter

It is important to remember that you have vast opportunities in this world. Don't miss out because you are glued to your computer screen. You are a living, breathing, viable part of this community. It is okay to log off every once in a while, step outside, and just breathe in your very existence. With this power, comes a great responsibility to keep our wits about us. I believe that social media is a great tool. Use it responsibly, and remember that taking care of yourself offline is the most valuable thing you can do for yourself too.

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