I remember being 14 and being unable to rip my face away from my screen. If it was my phone where I could remain in constant contact with everyone I would see everyday at school or if it was my computer where I would watch an insane amount of series (seriously ask me about any show I have probably watched it) I was incapable of turning away. When I look back at that time, I don’t feel proud that I basically neglected personal relationships, face to face contact, and prioritized talking to everyone through the social media I would use. I don’t feel proud that I would more easily be able to speak my mind through text then I was able to say it in person. After fighting for years with my parents and a destructive relationship that didn’t end as 16-year-old me had hoped, I came to realize: I was an addict. Plain and clear. My phone, texting, social media, it had become like a drug to me and the moment I realized it, I changed the way I acted.
I started prioritizing actual relationships, face to face interactions instead of online communications through social media. I decided to show myself online the way I was, not the way I wish I were. Now social media doesn’t feel like a burden to me, it doesn’t feel like a drug that’s taking over the way I live and the things I do and they way I show myself. Social media has become something that allows me to keep in contact with those I don’t see often, it’s allowed me to create new relationships with those I never really bothered to get to know but later realized I should’ve. I have found a way to redeem myself through social media by having it in my life but not letting it BE my life. And now I am grateful for it. Of course, I have pictured numerous times the way it would’ve been to live in the 1920s and be one of those flapper girls like in the “Great Gatsby”, what it would be like to live a world where to keep in contact with someone you would have to call someone, send a postcard and not receive direct responses. But knowing the way things are now, having experienced the comfort of having everything and anything you need at your fingertips, it would be literally impossible to go back to a world where things weren’t as easy. Do I want food? I order it online and have it delivered within 10 min. Do I want new clothes? I can order anything I could possible dream of online. Do I want to check the weather? No need to wait for the weather girl to announce it on tv, I can find out within not even a minute what the weather will be like for the coming week.
Life has changed. We certainly aren’t living in the 1920s anymore. And although it has become unbelievably easier it still isn’t uncomplicated. I think I can speak for everyone, or at least all the members of my generation Y, that we are all addicts and it is ok. We know how to deal with it and we are learning not to let it take over our lives. This addictive behavior can only improve through the years and I can’t wait to see that develop.
– Sharon Canals