Social Media: We’re Spending More Time On It Than We Actually Realise

Have we become slaves to social media? If you think about it how long have you spent on your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook today? Yesterday? All of last week? Don’t feel bad, we all do it and don’t realise how much time were actually wasting doing it rather than getting out and enjoying our selves or relaxing. When you add it up it accumulates to a few hours a day.

Now, before you presume that I hate social media – I don’t! In fact I think its possibly one of the greatest technological inventions of our time. But, I do think that perhaps its consumed us more than we realise and perhaps taken away from our  experiences and also down time that could be used to do other things.

There results are staggering to say the least, according to Social Media Today :

On average people will spend nearly 2 hours a day on their social media accounts- 116mins a day to be exact! This amounts to an astonishing 5 years and 4 months over a lifetime.

The bad news is this figure is set to rise. If you think about it you probably don’t even get 2 hours to relax during the day. You know that thing where you just sit back and do nothing, not even stare at Facebook. 

So with this in mind what’s happened to us? Have we completely forgotten how to live without social media? Our lives have become so intertwined with our social media obsession that it seems we can’t manage to put or phones or tablets down. Everything we do is recorded, posted and expressed on these channels that we’ve forgotten to take a step back and appreciate what’s actually happening around us.

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Image: Pixabay

I mean for instance, I’m fairly confident to say that nearly everyone who’s attended a concert has either been snapping photos, recording or streaming live on their social accounts (I’ve done it too!).

There was a time when we used to be so enthralled with the show that we wouldn’t have considered pulling out our phones and uploading content to our accounts. Nowadays we can’t help but dodge the line of phones held high blocking our views of the stage as people simultaneously stream and record their experience. But can you even call it that anymore? Is it really an experience that we’re having? We’re all looking at the recordings on our screens rather than actually looking at the artist who is right in front of us.

We’ve become so obsessed with “checking in” and showing everyone where we are that we don’t really give it all our attention and enjoy the moment. A few years ago I wrote a piece for The Scavenger, on how social media is running our lives even at the dinner table. It was all about the “check in” and conversations we were having with our friends on the social channels rather than conversations with our friends at the table we were sitting at.

This is much of the same argument. We’re so focused on “checking in” than actually “checking out” and enjoying what was happening around us.

Don’t get me wrong I love Facebook as much as the next person and I can’t deny that. It has helped people connect with each other all over the world and made families closer. What my argument is, is that perhaps we need to put down the apps and start enjoying our surroundings a bit more and take in what is actually going on in our world not just what we’re seeing on our screens.

At the end of the day we need to get back to basics. Stop, put down the phone or tablet and enjoy what’s in front of you, otherwise you could be one of those people who has literally wasted over 5 years of your life starring at something through the small screen when you could have been staring at it directly and appreciating the moment.

 

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