The social media craze — and everyone’s addiction to it — is a relatively new phenomenon. Facebook only became popular about 10 years ago. Sure, before that we had Friendster and MySpace, but no one had an “unhealthy attachment” to them. It would have been difficult, considering you needed to be at home sitting at your computer to engage with them. And who had time for that?
How much our behavior has changed in this last decade! I am at an interesting age where I lived a good portion of my life, including college years, without so much as a drop of social media in my world. And now that I’m a mother, it’s all but taken over. I can, without a doubt, “remember a time” when we weren’t addicted to websites and apps. And somehow we still lived our lives. Happily so.
Here are some things that we do now – every day, without even giving it a second thought – that we never did back then. Think of any others? Let us know in the comments?
4. Sharing pictures and videos
If I bake a gorgeous loaf of artisanal bread, my phone is out to take a picture of it before I’ve even had a chance to wipe the flour from my hands. Boom: it’s on Instagram in just a few seconds. Beautiful sunset? Click, share. Kid riding a bike for the first time? Capture that video and put it in an Instagram Story! Our eagerness to share everything that we’re seeing with people we know (and some people we don’t know at all…) is insatiable. What do we do after we post a photo or video? We check to see who has seen it and liked it. And the cycle just continues. What did we do before social media? We didn’t have a burning desire to show everyone pictures, and even if we did, we didn’t follow through. (Besides, we had to use real cameras back then, which made the whole thing even more impractical.)
3. Sharing funny/sad/interesting moments
My kid just said something hilarious–I’m going to type it up and post it on Facebook! Someone I know just passed away, so I’d better let everyone else know about it. I just had an epiphany about the meaning of life! I’d better make sure everyone else is as enlightened as I am! Previously, we shared this information in actual conversations. We might have even picked up the phone (portable or wall-mounted, obviously) and told a friend or family member about what was going on. With social media, we have completely cut out that step, and instead, just blast it all out into the world with the touch of a button.
2. Diagnosis seeking
Have a weird rash? A mole popped up where there wasn’t one before? Twisted your ankle and now it’s swollen? Better jump on that Facebook moms group and find out what the problem is! Somehow we have come to turn to our online communities rather than seeing actual doctors. Yes, co-pays and deductibles can get expensive, but so can going down the rabbit hole of a misdiagnosis by Jenny from Facebook. We used to see doctors before social media gave us poor substitutes in the form of an online community.
This might not be such a bad side effect of our obsession with social media, but some people definitely take it too far. Now, when we’re raising money for a good cause (because we’re running a race for charity or working with a non-profit, etc.), we can easily turn to social media to tap into our huge network of “friends” to get online donations. Sadly, people have to turn to this feature to raise money to cover the exorbitant costs of medical bills and funeral arrangements when life deals them a bad hand. But then we have those friends (we all have at least one) who raise money to buy something: a video game console, a hot new car, a bike, etc. What they should be doing is saving money the old-fashioned way, instead of asking their friends to fund their new hobby.