Too much time on social media


Too much time on my hands, it’s ticking away with my sanity
I’ve got too much time on my hands, it’s hard to believe such a calamity
I’ve got too much time on my hands and it’s ticking away from me
Too much time on my hands, too much time on my hands
Too much time on my hands (Sung by Styx)

Welcome to the Digital Age. Out with the old and in with the new. I miss the “good old days.” You’re probably saying: “You’re young. What do you know about the good old days.” Well, I remember a time when social media was non-existent.  I remember when people weren’t glued to their electronic devices all day long. I remember when kids went outside to play with their friends and walked over to their houses to talk. I remember when floppy disks were a thing, when turntables existed (I still have an original and so does my father), the Dewey Decimal System was a thing, rotary phones existed, the old dial up, and all of the good stuff that is virtually non-existent because of newer technology.

Remember these? (If this you can’t click on this, then just type it in your search engine and check it out!)

If you check out the article on “39 Pains that today’s teens have no clue about”, I can completely relate. I was an 80’s child and I wasn’t glued to a device all day. Sure, I had the Atari set complete with various video games and had other games on the old-fashioned floppy disks, but my dad was the one that limited my usage of game time. He was big on “socializing” with other kids in the neighborhood and encouraged me to go outside and play. The same thing when I wanted to talk to my friends. He limited my phone usage and he made me go over to my friend’s houses to talk.

Unfortunately, times are different and society changes. I’m not a fan of the Digital Age at all. In some ways, it’s more convenient but for the most part, it’s making society more lazy as time passes. Have you ever noticed this or is it just me? Example: Curbside grocery shopping isn’t the worst idea in the world and I can respect if you can’t physically go grocery shopping yourself or you’re a busy working parent; but to have someone shop for you because you’re lazy, then that’s different. For me, I would never let someone else grocery shop for me. I rather go to the store myself and pick out my groceries. My meats, my produce and my fruits are carefully handpicked by me. I don’t want someone else doing this for me. Online shopping is another thing that I’m not a fan of. I refuse to shop online for clothes, a car, or a piece of furniture. Working in a retail outlet for so many years, this is what kills my business: online shoppers.

What most people don’t realize about social media is that is harmful for your health. You mental health, especially. Spending hours and hours on your devices isn’t good. Your eyesight becomes poor. Your entire body is sore from head to toe especially if you’re sitting in a chair for hours staring at your device. Your head starts to pound and ache from staring at the same old screen. You find comfort in social media that you start to  isolate yourself and dissociate yourself from society. Think about it. Your sitting down with your device and you’re immediately sucked into the zone and before you realize, it’s been hours since you first sat down. Sitting for many hours can reek havoc on your legs, too. Blood clots came form easily. I’ve give you an example: Everyday at Starbucks, there’s always multiple customers that come in with their laptops, smartphones, and video gaming consoles (Oh yes, I have gamers in my store). These people will set up shop in the lobby and start their hours long journey on their devices. No joke when I say hours long journey! Granted, most customers are in high school & college and hard working Joes that come and they do their work. Good luck finding libraries now! Others will come in (mostly high school and college aged kids) and spend hours just on their social media accounts and not buy anything. I see tons of them that spend hours on their phones. But I don’t judge and it’s their right to do what they want to.

What’s really sad is how the world has changed so much because of social media. A lot of technology is useful and some I find totally unnecessary. I don’t really understand why some people think it’s cool to constantly post pictures of themselves with various filters and memes. Taking selfies all day are boring. Do we really have no life at all and need validation from others because we have nothing better to do? One of the celebrities that I don’t follow are the Kardashians. I don’t understand why people love them. I don’t need to see them half-naked and trying to “break” the internet. That’s fine if they love doing that, but as an outsider, I don’t need to see your naked self. I don’t feel the need to take a selfie of myself everyday. Not that I don’t love myself, I don’t need to see my face all over social media. I like my privacy.

I don’t care or obsess over how many followers that are on my social media accounts like others. Some of the followers are total strangers and it’s best to be careful about posting things like your body. The constant need for social media causes isolation from yourself and society, loneliness, and depression. Think of social media as a drug. Once you’ve had it once then you have to have more. Everyday, every minute, you are glued to it. Before long, you’ve become addicted and you’ve abandoned your loved ones, friends and society. Not to mention, your health goes downhill. One of the gamers that frequently comes into the store has a serious online gaming addiction along with a form of mental illness. He will come in the store and spend over 8 hours on his computers. No joke! He brings two computers (one is for games and the other is for his anime) and he plays games while watching anime at the same time. 8 hours of time wasted because he addicted to this. I quickly realized that his young man in his 20’s was a loner. I got up the nerve to talk to him and he didn’t say more than a few words. It’s one thing if you’re shy and I can understand that. But to spend all your time on your laptop instead of making friends is sad. He prefers to game all day instead of working or going to college and it wouldn’t surprise me if he had a little Tourette’s Syndrome, too. You can tell by watching that he’s lonely, that this is his addiction and he will always lie and say that he has no problem of any kind, and this kid swears like a sailor in the lobby. Oh yeah, the things you see at work. One time, he almost got kicked out (in a polite manner) because he was swearing so much and so loud because he lost money while playing his online games and was disturbing other customers in the lobby. This isn’t always fun being a manager, but in a public place it isn’t acceptable to cause a disruption in a store. You can’t start throwing a tantrum of any kind because most companies will not tolerate behavior like this of any kind.

But what I’ve noticed a lot since the Digital Age swept the entire nation, is that most people addicted to their phones are not only depressed, but can be very rude. The online gamers that come into the store will come right up to the register and start demanding things. It’s not: “Can I please or May I have?” It’s “Gimme this or I want this.” I loathe this with a passion. I kind of going into a mother mode and will say: “It’s May I have or Can I please have. Not gimme.”

Again, with any kind of problem that involves addiction: you need to admit to yourself that there’s a problem. Others may see the problem, but you with the problem wouldn’t think hardly anything about it. One of the big things with social media is moderation. Everyone is addicted to something and it’s very easy to become addicted. My mother has a diet soda addiction and is a borderline diabetic. She says: “I don’t have a problem.” Sure, but it’s not healthy drinking numerous cans of diet soda all day instead of water, but that’s your choice. It’s hard with her on that addiction. But once you’ve admitted there’s a problem, then seek help. If your addiction is with taking selfies or texting too much, then slowly start a plan to cut back on it. Start a diet plan. Decrease your daily intake of social media in small dosages and keep a log of your time spent online. Each day, gradually spend less time thinking about your device and use it only when you need to. For some this is easier said than done. True! But doing other things such as interacting with people, going outside or starting a new hobby helps keep your mind busy and moving, too.

If you can’t cure your social media addiction on your own then seek a professional. There’s always help available. Limiting your time spent on social media will decrease your anxiety and depression. When you’re offline, you’re less anxious, less moody, less dependent of your device. If you suffer from online bullying through social media, why would you be on social media at all? If you sat there and read every negative comment left on your page over and over, you become depressed. Some get so depressed that they commit suicide. There have been multiple cases where kids experience online bullying and they end their lives.

I’m really glad that I don’t have children at all. I wouldn’t want them to have their own social media accounts. My question would be: Why do you need one for? What’s the point? Is just to be cool and be a part of the in crowd at school? One of the things that people need to communicate to others is the dangers of social media. As a parent, wouldn’t you monitor what your child is viewing or posting online? If I was a parent, I would watch their accounts like a hawk and shut down what I don’t like.

Again, it’s your life and you make your own choices. But as a society, the correlation between social media and mental illness is nothing new and will continue to get worse if things don’t change.






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