Today, we’re going to hold a very discerning and accusative mirror up to modern life. Why? Because we all like to think that we know best, and that those who provide us with the daily annoyance of their mere presence should pull themselves up by their bootstraps. It’s time to think about how we could actually be annoying others without realising it…
Social media addiction
When we think of addiction it’s easy to picture alcohol, drugs and even gambling as the main causes behind people losing control of their lives. But, believe it or not, social media addiction is rising in the ranks of addictive behaviours and yes, we should be worried – particularly when it comes to young people. That little app on their phone is nothing more than a highlights reel of the best moments of their life. Young adults share events, photographs and quippy videos with their friends and followers, and in return they get likes, love hearts and comments that seemingly validate their online existence.
It’s this craving of validation that can quickly become both toxic and addictive, as the fear of missing out (“FOMO”) is rife amongst social media users of all ages, with school children’s screen time ever-increasing. They feel they need to post. They need to capture the moment. They need to show people what they’re doing. It’s a vicious, addictive cycle. And one that is incredibly difficult to break, however the link to solving this problem could be with companies like Yes We Can Youth Clinics (read more about recognising social media addiction in young people on their website).
This is also a growing problem in adults. You are many things to many people. Perhaps you’re a parent. Perhaps you’re also a teacher. Or maybe a boss or a worker. Then, on top of that, you have a social media persona to curate – which, as mentioned above, can become an addiction under the right circumstances. The problem is that who you are online might be significantly different as compared to who you are in real life, which can lead to very different feelings when acting as the online you and when acting as the real life you. Leading a double life can become an addiction that proves difficult to resolve – but blending the ‘two yous’ back together is possible!
Time pressures and envy
Other people always appear to be on the go, and not only that, but they appear to be doing fun and interesting things, and they always look healthy and happy. This time pressure to never stop and ‘keep up’ can lead many people towards envious and bitter thoughts. Also, technology renders us within permanent digital reach of everyone we know – we are contactable 24 hours a day. This creates a huge pressure to be the first to know things (nobody wants to be at the back of that queue), and we can all start to feel a little pulled in all directions.
Expecting instant gratification and not growing as a person
People grow through their various trials and tribulations. Nobody develops a multi-faceted personality by always being told they can have whatever they want, whenever they want it. However, now that we can order pizza by telling a plastic boxplugged into the wall to “order pizza, repeat order, confirm”, and now that expensive cars and houses are available on credit, and now that we can literally swipe through a choice of potential romantic partners without knowing anything about them other than whether their smile looks vaguely nice, we have become impatient. Some people actually let this get to the stage where they have become selfish, rude, arrogant, greedy, and even neurotic.
The solution to this issue isn’t going to be comfortable for those who are already way over the line, but teaching yourself humility through setting a goal that can only be achieved over time is one way to practice patience and build a sense of self-reliance (instead of expecting the world to just give you what you want). Perhaps you could train for a black belt in a martial art. Perhaps you could endeavour to build a website. Maybe you could wipe the dust off that acoustic guitar you’ve had for years without ever learning how to play the most basic of chords (start with E minor – super simple, honest). Whatever you choose, it’s worth it.