I see loads of negative images about Social Media out there – you know the ones: cartoons likening it to a drug enslaving the populace – and we the consumers as faceless, mindless drones, walking head down, ignoring real life, real relationships, the world around us, totally and hopelessly addicted to the dopamine hit of social media ‘likes’ and the shallow goal of attaining the most followers.
But is this what it's really like? Certainly, there is truth to being addicted to our devices - when the alarm goes off my daily routine starts with checking Twitter to see what the latest headlines are, if we've been nuked etc - better make sure there’s a world to get up to first, right? The snooze alarm goes off so it’s into the emails to get psyched for the day; then a quick check of notifications on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp. After clicking the weather app to make sure the outside temperature is above freezing; it’s time to get going. Before jumping in the car, let's plan the best way to beat the traffic with Google Maps, and plug in a playlist or podcast for the journey.
Yep, I’ll admit – when I read that back it sure sounds like I’m a hopeless addict! I will agree we all need to be very mindful of ‘being in the moment’ and not ignore the real world, to be engaged. You do have to check yourself from time to time. To not be that couple at the café who are both looking at their phones instead of talking. Not to be the guy at the concert watching the band through their iPhone. Or committing the most unforgivable violation: using your phone at the movies – but to use these platforms to facilitate these real life connections and experiences in the first place!
Anyway – here’s an illustration I enjoyed that shows another side to the cliches:
(Illustration credit Adam Ellis -Twitter @moby_dickhead Instagram @adamtots)