“With filtered selfies, I was sending the message that to be accepted, loved and respected we need to rely on the distorted reality and values that the consumer society has passed on us.” – Leslie Coutterand
- Have you ever been waiting on a friend somewhere and because you wanted to avoid awkward eye contact or conversation with someone, got on your phone?
- Have you ever scrolled on Instagram looking at picture perfect lives and thought to yourself, I wish I had that or I’m not good enough?
- Have you ever been at home sitting next to your spouse, friend or family member and when you were supposed to be spending quality time together instead you were continuously scrolling Facebook?
Let’s be honest, I know I have. So, today’s blog post is about social media addiction and why it is important for us to understand the implications that social media or even media in general has on our world.
I want to start this blog post off with a TEDX Talk. Leslie Coutterand, a previous French tv star discusses how “A life where what I presented was more important than what I was” based on “what the media imposed on us as an image of success” (Coutterand, 2018).
“On one hand she was living her life and in the other faking it” because likes, shares and posts were what gave her instant gratification (Coutterand, 2018). So, take a load off and watch this video for some powerful mind shifting.
As you heard, social media can be pretty influential. According Alton (2016) “in a digital age where our lives are broadcasted for everyone to see, we want to make sure everyone knows where we are and what we’re doing. As a result, we spend more time projecting an image than enjoying experiences.”
These images that are projected cause real harm to those who are seeing them, especially teenagers. Some of the negative symptoms or effects are:
- FOMO: Fear of missing out:
- It’s a complicated blend of anxiety, irritation, and inadequacy. It typically happens when you’re doing something boring or ordinary and you see pictures, videos, and posts from your friends who appear to be doing things that are more fun and exciting . (Alton, 2016)
Have you ever experienced any of these feelings? Again, I have. So, what can we do to combat these negative effects?
First, according to Coutterand (2018), “help kids understand the need of why they have to post. Remind them that social media is not the real world. It is a tool that can be used for the inane or the beautiful.” Parents can do this by being mindful about what their children are exposed to and discussing the implications of media.
Second, “try to read the message underneath the post, reach out beyond the screen” (Coutterand, 2018). Someone may not be posting a pretty picture because of narcissism, maybe it is because they need to feel loved or recognized. Teachers can help students break down and analyze hidden media messages to help students make sense of the content around them.
Third, “bring more connection, mindfulness and authenticity our digital world” by taking control of the social media platform you use rather than let it control you (Coutterand, 2018). We all need to be more mindful, aware and present of what we post, how we post and how we influence other lives.
Digital media literacy can help us make sense of our complicated and digitally dominated world where media constructs an unrealistic image of who we are supposed to be.
Alton, L. (2017, January 18). 4 ways technology impacts the way we think. Social Media Week. Retrieved by https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2016/01/ways-technology-impacts-way-we-think/
Amatenstein, S. (n.d.). Not so social media: How social media increases loneliness. PsyCom. Retrieved by https://www.psycom.net/how-social-media-increases-loneliness/
Coutterand, L. [Screen name]. (2018, November 8). Social Media Addiction [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH5bC-SLvb4
Malik, S. (n.d.). Why teens are addicted to social media. Pedi Mom. Retrieved by https://pedimom.com/why-teens-are-addicted-to-social-media/