As Millennials, we’re infamous for our “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude. We don’t care about meeting the status quo; we don’t care about consequences, and we sure as hell don’t care what people think.
Or at least, that’s how we want people to perceive us.
However, the way we use and abuse social media proves otherwise. We seemingly can’t go anywhere without posting something about it, in the hopes of being validated by our peers.
We want people to be jealous of the concert we went to last night, the European trip we took this summer and even the trendy boutique bistro were we ate lunch. If we don’t post about all the cool things we’re doing, then how is anyone supposed to know how awesome our lives are?
This unfailing need we have for affirmation is tearing down our self-confidence and making us feel we are worthless without the acceptance of others.
Snapchat is ruining your life, and you’re to blame.
Part of the problem, though, is we all seem to think we’re the exception. “I’m not like one of those phone addicts,” we think.
We don’t view ourselves as the ones who have to post on social media all the time; we just choose to. It’s fun and harmless, and not totally destructive to our daily lives, right?
Well, take a look at these startling statistics and you might change your mind.
According to The Daily Mail, the average person reaches for his or her phone at about 7:31 am each morning, and checks the most important apps before he or she even gets out of bed. Most of us tend to use our phones about 1,500 times a week.
It’s also important to note these numbers reflect the average person. The term “average” and the word “person” are both equally important to note. We’re not just talking about plugged-in, busy Millennials here.
These statistics might still be falling on deaf ears, though, because many of us assume we only use our phones for necessary tasks. We ignore the amount of time we spend on apps like Snapchat, and only recall all those important company emails we had to respond to.
We need to stop being so naïve. We need to recognize we gain much of our daily self-confidence through digital reassurance.
Think about why you even post to your Snapchat Story in the first place. Really think about it. Chances are, your reasoning has nothing to do with meaningful interaction and everything to do with personal validation.
Basically, you’re showing off to your friends.
We don’t want to lose relevance in the world of social media, so we post on a somewhat routine basis to show we’re still cool and still living impressive lives.
The issue with this kind of behavior is we miss out on fully enjoying life’s experiences. We’re too preoccupied with proving ourselves to others. When we see our favorite artists perform live, for example, we probably don’t really listen to the music and enjoy the performance.
We have a job to do.
The Snapchat app on our phone is likely open for the duration of concert, in anticipation of a cool moment we just have to capture. Otherwise, our friends won’t know we were there.
The problem isn’t Snapchat itself; it’s the way we use Snapchat.
To keep up our ultra cool, “I don’t give a f*ck” façade, we are necessarily giving a f*ck.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
We can hold ourselves to our word that we really “don’t give a f*ck,” and exit Snapchat during the most important moments in our lives. We can stop being all talk and no action. The memories we create last much longer than a 24-hour Snapchat Story anyway.
This solution is ambitious, but we should set our goals high. Trust me, I am just as guilty as anyone else.
However, the day we all take back the control from our emotionless (and truthfully, meaningless) apps, is the day we might start to actually enjoy life’s experiences again.