“We can’t jump off bridges anymore because our iPhones will get ruined. We can’t take skinny dips in the ocean, because there’s no service on the beach and adventures aren’t real unless they’re on Instagram. Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure and we’re helping destroy it every time we Google, check-in, and hashtag.” – Jeremy Glass, We Can’t Get Lost Anymore

Recently the short film “Look Up” went viral around the world. The meaning of the film urges people to look up from their social media; poetic language and inspiring visuals convey the potent message of what can happen when you detach yourself from social networking.

The video portrays the endless possibilities that can occur when you remove yourself from social media for a few hours a day. It’s sentimental and simplistic nature really hits hard, highlighting the importance of looking up from your screen and living your life for yourself, and not for the satisfaction of everyone else.

You’d be lying if you said you didn’t have a slight addition to social media, whether it is tweeting or posting a photo, or being curious and checking on what everyone else is doing. Social networking sites such as twitter and instagram have changed the way we look at each other and more importantly changed the way we look at ourselves.

Young adults and teenagers are captivated by the lives of others and making comparisons merely on what someone is posting online. The effect of social networking goes unnoticed until you actually think about the time you spend beguiled in other people’s lives.

 Why do we feel we have to be so invested in others people’s lives in order to fulfill our own? 

Life is not a game and we are not all in competition, with the use of “filters” and apps that can change the way you look, you are able to portray a false identity to the world.

“We all share our best bits but leave out the emotion” by connecting with people over social networking sites we are only seeing one side of them, this lack of authenticity emphasises how much we think we know about someone, when really it’s just a facade.

Whilst we tweet about the amazing things we are doing and the radiant moods we are in, it can convey a fake life making others envious of your happiness and success. Whilst there is no problem with happiness, we only seem to use social media to portray one side of our lives.

Let’s be real, none of us have this “perfect” life that we constantly see plastered online. Social networking makes us feel the need to update everyone every second of every day. These days we can’t leave the house without making sure everyone knows what we are doing, who we are with and what we are wearing. The insanity of the social network craze stops us from living freely and spontaneously. It’s as if nothing is real unless the world is notified about it and thousands of pictures are posted . We lose a sense of excitement due to our incessant need to be connected with everyone.

Whilst I preach this, I am completely guilty of scrolling through my twitter feed and checking my friend’s snapchat stories because I feel I need to know what everyone else is doing in order to continue with my day. Whilst I don’t realise this at the time, thinking about it I can’t actually go for a walk without checking my newsfeed or watch a film without scanning my instagram. This is a problem within itself because we don’t realise we have an addiction until our phone is not in our hand.

 We need to stop posting about our life and start living it.

 Only when you put your phone down and turn your internet off do you truly realise the time you spend online. Think of all the things that you are missing out on and think of all the time you are saving. Focus upon yourself and how you feel instead of how you are viewed by other people. How exciting your life looks online or how expensive your outfit looks on instagram doesn’t determine your happiness. Whilst it might make you look happy and content with life, it doesn’t mean you are.

I feel that people are living their lives for others and to impress their “followers” whilst disregarding their own happiness and wellbeing. The sudden popularity of social media makes us feel in constant competition with others and we need to stop living this way. We need to put the phone down, take a deep breath, look around us, and notice the beautiful things that impact our lives without us even knowing.

Travel to places that don’t have signal, take photos without filters, visit incredible places without checking in and explore the wonders of the world experiencing the memories without the rest of cyberspace being involved.

 We are becoming unsocial, losing our ability to engage with one another and make a real connection.

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