Unplug For Your Own Good: 5 Ways Social Media Is Ruining Your Life

by Meghan Breitner

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I check is my phone. New messages, any mentions, likes on Instagram, Facebook friend requests, etc. It’s as if I’m attached to my phone.

I’m too fascinated and intrigued by the narcissistic side of social media to even realize the reality of my life.

Instead of thanking God for waking up to another beautiful day, I thank my followers for the likes on my newest Instagram picture.

Is it me, or are the morals today declining due to social media? I am absolutely guilty of obsessing over social media, and I am certain I am not the only one.

I had the strangest occurrence the other day when I was driving by the park. Instead of seeing children running and frolicking around, playing tag or balancing on the teeter-totter, they were perched up on picnic benches, eyes glued to the screen, scrolling through their phones.

First off, since when did children have iPhones? Second, this is sincerely atrocious.

My childhood memories were filled with imaginary sword fights, playing dress up and having tea parties, or running around, chasing butterflies in my backyard.

It scares me that by the time I have children, they will probably think the way I grew up was definitely in the stone ages.

Don’t get me wrong; social media is not the root of all evil. I love my phone and would seemingly be lost without it, but I’m using it for all the wrong ways, and here’s why:

Looking To Social Media For Approval

The word, “selfie,” is now in the dictionary. It’s something I think every human has done at least one time in his or her life, ranging from ages three to 95.

It’s uplifting to take a photo of yourself and feel utterly beautiful about it.

Is it wrong to want to share your confidence with the Internet? No, it isn’t. But, looking for the approval of others is.

Time after time, I have added a photo to Instagram or Facebook and ended up disappointed at the lack of “likes” it has gotten.

When I look back now and ponder my behavior, I cringe. I am disappointed by the amount of “likes” — what?!

I also have been discouraged when I’ve seen someone else’s photo get more publicity or attention than a photo I posted. It’s really sad to think about the effect social media has on all of us.

Social Media And Relationships = NO

When dealing with an already rocky relationship, throwing social media in the mix can be an absolutely horrific event.

Something as simple as accepting a friend request could potentially end a relationship.

I’ve seen it before and it continually happens to couples. I hear breakup stories ranging from, “She was his best friend on Snapchat,” or, “I saw her like one of his photos.”

It’s a bummer that a majority of ending relationships these days have an immense amount of reason to do with social media.

I heard somebody once say, "If your relationship cannot stand through social media, then you should not be together."

Hm, more like, social media should not be part of two people staying together or breaking up.

Doing Things Just For Social Media To See

At a previous job, a boss of mine asked all of her employees, “Would you be doing that if you couldn’t post it on social media?”

I honestly felt embarrassed in the moment because I had been guilty of this crime once or twice before. Please don’t tell me I’m the only one.

It’s 100 percent okay to take a photo while doing something you love, and share it with your friends and family online, but when you're doing something only to brag about it on social media, you are not spending your time on earth very wisely.

Shaming Others Online

It almost frightens me that there is a slang term used to signify when somebody trash talks other people on Twitter; that word is “subtweet.”

If you’re not familiar with Twitter, then this will be confusing. But, “subtweeting” someone is when you make it clear that your tweet is directed toward him or her in a derogatory fashion. Yet again, I am at a loss for words.

People hide behind computer screens and make nasty remarks or comments about others on social media sites daily.

I can’t even tell you the last time I scrolled through Facebook without seeing a timeline post shaming another person.

Looking For A Relationship On Social Media

C’mon people, we’ve all seen "Catfish," right?

It is so easy to lie and pretend to be something you’re not on social media. People do it, and don’t be absolutely shocked when your “model girlfriend who lives in LA and has a vacation house in Hawaii” ends up being a 40-year-old registered sex-offender.

I’m not saying finding true love on social media is impossible, but from the bottom of my heart, good luck.

Phones, laptops and tabloids are truly great improvements in our world, but they’re becoming regressions in our lives.

It’s time to unplug from the social media, and start using technology for the advances it was made for.