According to a new research conducted by Aligarh Muslim University, university students in India check their smartphones up to 150 times a day. Their main reason for this is anxiety and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). The research also highlights that 63% use their smartphones for 4-7 hours daily while 23% use it for more than 8 hours daily.
About a year ago I realized that social media was taking up most of my time and also heavily influencing my emotions. Did I really need to know what my friends were eating? What they were wearing? Where they were vacationing? Moreover, how did this overload of information affect me personally?
I am a control freak. So when Social Media posts started affecting my mood, I didn’t like it at all! I deleted Instagram on a trial basis. My life felt so clutter free. Soon, Snapchat also went to the bin. I became much more productive and had a lot of free time on my hand.
Did I miss it? Not one bit. The good old WhatsApp helped me keep in touch with a few of my close friends. In fact, it wasn’t until a few months later when I met my best friend that I even noticed the difference. She asked me, “So, how do you survive?” as if I had been living without food and water for 3 months.
But, isn’t social media just like our food and water nowadays? Aren’t we guilty of checking our phones the first thing in the morning? Would you miss this technological ‘tool’ if I took it away for a day? A week? A month? Why is nobody talking about our social media addiction? How is it different from alcohol or drug addiction when it affects us mentally?
Stop. Ponder. Reflect. Are you controlling your phone? Or is it controlling you?