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Each maze – no matter how difficult – has a way that leads you out of those caging dead-end roads. Yet, we have a maze that was wrongly made and there is no way out. Once you’re in, you’re trapped. Social media is one biggest examples of that maze. It is exactly like those sleeping pills, the original reason was to help us end our sleeplessness, but it ended up making us addicted – and kills us in the end. The only way out of here…. We have not yet discovered. We’re already in the mid of quicksand without any helping hand around.
When scientists need to experiment, they trap mice and try to function their brains in a way that it would react exactly how they wish. We’re the mice now. They have functioned in our brain in a way that we react precisely how they want us to. They get into our minds, re-wire our brains, and leave us hypnotized. The way our brain knows how to blink each second, it knows that it has to stretch our hands and swipe a screen up to check if we have news feeds. They have allured us to stay happily trapped in a maze that has no way out.
Here are eight psychological effects social media has upon our minds.
We become impatient.
Did you know that a website can lose 10 billion dollars, only if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? Because of social media, we are deprived of a beautiful trait that is now officially distinct – once known as patience. We need things, results, and outcomes urgently. Long lost is the time when we knew the beauty of waiting for a letter from a person we loved. Long lost are the days when we knew the fruit patience bears.
We become cowards.
All those things that we cannot express in reality, we hide behind screens, disguised as another person, and become bullies. Those who can never stand up for themselves if they would not have the guard of their smartphones – have everything harsh to post on the media. We’ve lost the courage to stand up for ourselves in our own skin.
We start underestimating ourselves.
One of the most harmful effects of social media is the constant urge for perfectionism. We need to look perfect, eat perfect, and sleep perfectly. Why can’t we post a picture without using a filter? Do we really need to have thicker eyebrows and longer lashes? Why are we afraid to appear as we originally are, and feel proud of that? My food tastes blander because I’ve seen how fancy breakfasts can look on my Instagram. We underestimate our own blessings, only because we find those posts fancier than ours. Social media always draws a long line parallel to ours, which makes our line seem smaller.
Our worth depends upon responses and likes.
How beautiful I am, depends upon the number of likes I get. If I did not get enough responses, my intellect isn’t that impressive after all. We all tend to weigh our success upon people’s comments and subscriptions.
We don’t know the meaning of enjoyment anymore.
What does enjoying the perfect breakfast early in the morning while looking at the sun rising to mean? It means having the perfect angle to post my steaming coffee with the sun in the background. A picture-perfect moment is now the only one definition of “fun”. We cannot enjoy a vacation without the urge of capturing and posting it. And cannot enjoy a meal without putting a story first.
We don’t know what to believe anymore.
We all know companies who pay to earn good reviews, and like their own products. When we ourselves post pictures after cropping and filtering them, we cannot have trust in what we see anymore. Social media displays a set of illusions, where truth often gets lost.
We’ve become lonelier.
Why do we have increasing suicide rates each year, even though it has become so much easier to stay connected and update with each other’s lives? Because those smiling Emojis are a façade for gloomy faces. We are caught up in this maze to such an extent that we do not realize another troubled mouse is sitting right beside us. Little do we know – that hug emojis can never replace the very much needed warmth and companionship that a human touch provides.
All the things that our brain did, we have found a substitute for it.
The very few people left of an amazing generation had superhuman brains. They did not need phones to remember a hundred phone numbers, nor did they need a google map to guide them. Even without reminders, they remembered it all, and that generation did not need a calculator to divide their dinner bill. Our grandparents used their greatest blessing, and they lived happier, longer, and healthier.
Moving towards the final word – I would just like to highlight the difference between telephones and our smart mobile phones. We made telephones to make connecting easier, while mobile phones require us to be available all the time. It was a nice time when we caged phones caged on a corner in our house, and we were free back then. Today, those wires have become invisible and have managed to shackle our hands with them. The mobile phone only remains healthy – when we are the ones using it. But when it demands our time and attention, that is when it becomes a maze, which needs a way out.
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