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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Do smart phones and social media enhance or constrict reality?



Kirjoittanut: Samuel Sorvali - tiimistä Motive.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 2 minuuttia.

Social media platforms and smartphones are designed for you. Whether you are using Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok or any other social media application the algorithm ensures that your touchscreen shows exactly the content you love. And if not, it doesn´t take much time until it does because the application knows your preferences quite well. Sometimes maybe even better than you do.

If you are connected to the internet there is a recurring opportunity to see things you love. Boring moments such as sitting through a monotonous lecture or waiting for a bus to arrive can be avoided by just taking your smartphone out. In under 5 seconds the moment that used to be dull is transformed into enjoyable one because now there is lovely content on the screen. This, I believe, is not a problem because adding more pleasant moments in life undoubtedly improves it. However, there must be some limit to those moments that are worth spending in social media, wouldn’t you agree?

Scrolling through memes while watching Netflix, liking other people´s pictures while having a dinner with friends, snapping pictures of any Instagram-worthy sight in a new city or just having your phone on the table during a meeting are things that we all do. Is this okay? In these situations, there’s usually already an atmosphere that should prevent boredom. So, why focus on your phone more than the present moment? Could it be a fear of missing out that forces you to keep your touchscreen and social media within arm’s reach? Perhaps. Social media shouldn’t constrict the beauty of the moment.

Enhancing moments and reality is a more advantageous possibility for smart devices to offer. I have often found myself in situations where I scroll through social media content for a long time almost unconsciously and regretted it later. But I have also experienced moments that could have been amplified through capturing them with my camera and pressing a share-button later. I only took a single video at Eminem’s concert in Friends Arena, and now most of it has faded from my memory. I often find myself thinking ‘Why didn’t I record more of that incredible show?’. On the other hand, I can remember how I fully enjoyed THE MOMENT.

Seems like it is hard to determine the correct amount of smart phone and social media usage for each possible situation in life. If browsing social media makes your real life less social, it is then perhaps time to set some limits. But feel free to argue with that! Anyhow, excessive smart phone usage could decrease active time of your day and negatively impact the quality of your sleep. Therefore, from physiological viewpoint medical guidelines could be made to control phone users´ daily screen time. Then again social and mental wellbeing could be enhanced because a friend, family member or a soulmate is easily reached via different social media platforms or by a good old phone call. So, what can I say, a smart phone with social media can be a good servant but a bad master?

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