Modern societies are driven by technology. We do not simply use it, we rely on it completely. Many persons are plastered to their phones as if it were connected to their person. We use the internet to keep up with other people, to take care of finances and to gather information. It is a source of many things and a tool for others. The technology we use needs to be powered. We give this responsibility to third parties that we pay for their services. We rely on these things nowadays and I myself can’t honestly see that changing any time soon.
Currently, I can’t say if it is good or bad. The reliance on phones and other such shiny things could be a problem if they ever stopped working. There are also those that blame these devices for a lack of social interaction. I want to give my own response to that, but I am too young to know the two different experiences.
Yet there is also an upside to our reliance on social media and collective, public sources. In this way, we can become a system. Our collective knowledge helps us to help one another, in which way we can strengthen our own system. For example, I know little about what to do when my laptop shows me an error message. A quick Google search however, will tell me what it means and what to do. This information I obtained online; from a person that placed it there. They had the knowledge of this problem and made it public for those that needed it. Generous, I think.
The main concern I have with the modern world (besides its wars and other problems) is that I find there is often too much information. Everything is happening at once. You can’t possibly keep track of but one thing at once. Televisions throw commercials at you, Facebook contains posts from everyone about anything, ads for products and links to external places that I’ve never even heard of. The radio is no different. Besides that, nearly every ad or commercial tells you to visit their website for more information. There is no way to avoid this, if you want to remain updated on current events.
Our brains become overly stimulated. Because of that, I do not think it is surprising that many persons in our societies suffer from psychological illnesses such as anxiety or depression. They are attempting to handle life while also attempting to keep up with the presentations of media. What of the expectations this media presents to us? What of our knowledge of the world’s poverty and wellbeing does it present? Quite a bit. That is likely to affect us.
Young people, more than ever, suffer from psychological problems. Many studies have proven this. Stress levels are high. We need to achieve, we need to have a job, a social life, an online life, we need to have fun, be fun and we need to be able to balance all of this somehow. That is the idea that media gives us. It’s pressure.
To me, it’s more often discouraging than encouraging. I lose focus upon one task because so much else is being thrown at me. My concentration falters. The tasks I need to do will not receive the attention and care that they deserve. It also discourages my creative side. Inspiration falters or the motivation to actually use the inspiration drains or is not there at all. Why do this? I can’t measure up to everyone else out there.
I consciously know that this is a delusion though. I remind myself that the internet gives us an image that is not necessarily true but it is easy to become lost in the pool of information presented. It is easy to forget that it is fake when it presents itself to you every day. They say that if you are being told something repeatedly, you will believe it. That is exactly what our social media does, too.
Is there something we can do? I don’t think it’s time to throw away your phone and shut down all your social media. Instead, I think a person needs to keep reminding themselves to shut it off once in a while. Before I wrote this article, I had Facebook shouting at me and the television was making noise as commercials passed. I closed my browser and turned off the television before the inspiration faltered.
Another note before I finalize this piece; though I mentioned social media can raise stress levels and cause anxiety and depression, I do not blame it completely. I know that it wouldn’t be right to do so. People with these illnesses have often been worn down until they break and start to show these symptoms. To them I’d like to say that I believe in their strength and that I know they can win against their illnesses. I know my blog is also social media and that it might also influence these people, but I want only one thing for them; encouragement to overcome it and inspiration to do so. Don’t let it dissolve. Social media is a trend. Life is a moment. Everything comes and ends. This too shall pass.