TRAN: Value experiences over social media

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Web_Tran_mugshotBY NATALIE TRAN
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Everyone nowadays feel the pull of our cell phones and the urge to get updated. Almost every facet of our lives is connected to our phones in some respect and this need to check it makes sense. This becomes a larger problem, though, when we are more concerned with “capturing the moment” with our phones instead of actually just living them.

You always see people Snapchat, Instagram or tweet what they’re doing/up to. We think by filming or taking a photo of the things we are doing we’re going to cherish these moments because we get to look back on them. But really these are just for social media and honestly how much are you really missing by not recording a trip of you going out to eat lunch some weekend?

I find that it’s a daily routine for me to check my phone right when I wake up in the morning and I even scroll through my phone before I go to bed just to be up to date with everyone and everything.

A recent study has revealed that the average person spends 90 mins a day on their phone. That may not sound like a lot but that amounts up to 23 days a year and 3.9 years of the average person’s life is spent staring at their phone screen. That’s just the average person. I definitely exceed the average of spending 90 minutes on my phone so I can’t even imagine how much of my life is spent on my phone.

Social media is really just meant to document “good times” and pushes people to try and give off a perception that their life is perfect, just based on the photos they post. It’s all about making your feed look good and taking the “right picture.” People use social media to impress others and they only record certain things to look good not for themselves, but for others.

When you go to a concert watching your favorite artist perform you see people pull out their phones to Snapchat and document their experience all through the camera lense instead of enjoying it with their own eyes. While social media does have its benefits, there’s always a time and place for it.

I watched my friends Snapchat stories of them being at a Weekend concert and I can see the whole crowd Snapchatting and filming him sing. There was even a picture that I saw comparing a photo of people at a concert in the 60’s having their hands in the air living in the moment, compared to crowds nowadays.

Social media has taken over my life and probably yours too. I can’t help but wait anxiously to go on snapchat just to use a new geotag when I’m in a different city or state for the picture on my story. It’s almost absurd how we look forward to geotags or the new Snapchat filters.

We are so obsessed with our phones we freak out when we can’t find it or we run to the nearest charger because our phones are running on 1%. We almost even fight and compare our percentages of our phones with friends just to get ahold of that charger. It’s quite ridiculous how we let technology take control of our lives.

Nowadays life is always about how many likes you get or Retweets or even how many followers we have on social media accounts. Why do we let those things define us? A number shouldn’t reflect you as a person and it definitely shouldn’t matter. It’s almost inadequate that we wait to post photos at “the right time” to make sure we get the most likes possible. It seems that we let the likes get the best of us. People nowadays even comment “#likeforlike” on popular accounts to promote their accounts.

Going out to dinner with family or friends is meant for quality time. My mom has made it a rule to take away all our phones so we socialize with one another. It’s almost sad how my mom has to force us to talk with one another and socialize instead of it being a natural habit.
Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay in this world. It just depends on how you manage it in your life. You can control how you use it, or you can let it control you.