Staff Editorial

Social media is fun, but real life is better

Today, there’s hardly anywhere one can go to escape the technology that has become the epitomizing descriptor for our generation. It’s everywhere and it’s developing faster than you can say “upgrade”. Bulky cell phones transformed into sleek smartphones, massive beige computers mutated into slim, shiny tablets and sluggish dial-up internet connections morphed into lightning-fast 4G mobile communication right before our eyes. Naturally, these advancements spread like wildfire, and before we knew it we were looking down at pristine iPhones resting in our hands and wiping the drool from our mouths.

Not only did the trusty iPhone become our best friend, but also our constant companion. With the ability to communicate with a contact list full of friends at almost frightening speeds, it has become hard to look up from Twitter and see what’s right in front of us: our lives.

Apple, Samsung and a swarm of other developers haven’t exactly made it easy for us to resist their products. The renowned smartphone boasts a communication triple-threat: anyone, anywhere, anytime. Although this accessibility is convenient when needed, was it really intended to be used for constant communication? Technology doesn’t just help us make plans anymore; it has become our plans.

Not only have we been sucked in by instantaneous communication, but also by a mouth-watering plethora of social media apps. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine, to name a few, are making it easier than ever to see what your friends are doing. The apps are fun, user-friendly—and horribly addicting.

Society’s addiction to constantly being connected to social media is an epidemic. We’re missing our favorite songs at concerts because we’re so busy making six second Vines. We’re missing sunsets looking for the perfect filter on Instagram. We’re so consumed in seeing what everyone else is doing and, of course, letting them know what we’re up to (in 140 characters or less) that we’re missing out on what’s going on around us.

But don’t fret too much; this digital disease has a cure. If you’re spending time with friends or family, don’t spend the entire time tending to your Tiny Tower. Instead, put down your device and enjoy their company. The constant distraction of a smartphone can take away from our real-world experiences, so hitting the “off” button can be a refreshing change. It’s time our tech-savvy generation looks past the screens of our smartphones. If we don’t, we just might spend the rest of our lives scrolling through our digital friends’ status updates while the friends sitting beside us carry on with their real lives without us.