OPINION: Our Facebook addiction is preventing us from living

OPINION: Our Facebook addiction is preventing us from living

Facebook currently has over 650 million active users
Facebook currently has over 650 million active users

By Leanne Mitchell 

In modern day society we are all obsessed with capturing the moment, but are we really living it?

How many of you can honestly say that you never take a ‘selfie’, or spend endless hours playing Temple Run? We are obsessed with posting pictures on Facebook, showing people our lives moment-by-moment, but is that really living?

Facebook currently has over 650 million active users
Facebook currently has over 650 million active users

Have we all become a cluster of robots living in the 21st century? Yes, I admit I have become one of those robots! I started to contemplate this after hearing the amazing Rabbi Farhi give a talk entitled ‘Facebook’s Dirty Little Secrets’.

How many times have you felt the sudden urge to answer as soon as your phone buzzes? I certainly have. It is like we have been programmed to be on constant alert, in fear that if we miss something, we will no longer be a ‘part of’ our community. Did you know that there are currently more than 250 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices?

We are transfixed with the idea of having ‘friends’ online, but in some cases this can mean people are engaging far less in actual communication. Yes, don’t get me wrong, Facebook is an amazing way to share photographs and videos to keep in contact with people from all across the globe, but it is a huge distraction.

I admit, I do all my coursework with my Facebook page wide open and if a notification comes up, my mind becomes so obsessed and engrossed with checking this notification that it distracts me from my work, only to find out it was unimportant, only a request for a ‘game’ or a Facebook ‘poke’.

Facebook to many people is near enough an addiction. If you do not check it, you get FOMO (‘Fear Of Missing Out’) and feel as though you are cutting yourself off from society.

How many of you, can honestly say that you don’t sometimes sit in lectures at university and scroll down your news feed? This affects our grades. Do we really want to fail over a piece of technology? We are spending £9,000 a year!

I am preoccupied as to why our brain is so transfixed and addicted to this piece of technology. Why do we spend so many hours starring at a blank computer screen, counting down the hours until the end of the day? Even though I do extracurricular activities, I still find the time to bombard my Facebook page with multiple statuses every day.

It is frightening that one in every 13 people on Earth is on Facebook. Furthermore, every hour, there are about 30.6 million new comments on Facebook. I have heard so many people say, “I don’t know what I would do if Facebook didn’t exist!”.

Well obviously they would still survive because generations before us did. This makes me contemplate what society has come to. What did people do before Facebook? Oh yes, they phoned each other!

How many of you have over 500 friends on Facebook ? I admit I have over 400 but how many of these are actually our friends – maybe 30? How many of them do you socialise with outside of Facebook?

There are of course many pros to Facebook too. Facebook is an amazing way to raise money and awareness for charities. It enables you to post and share links raising awareness about important and sometimes otherwise quite obscure causes.

There are  more than 650 million of us who are active Facebook users. Even my Grandma is on Facebook! It is an astronomical amount of people using one social media site.  I cannot begin to even contemplate how many people own at least a Twitter, Facebook, Hotmail or Linked In account.

Just ask yourself one question. Are YOU really living the life you want to lead?

God has put us on this earth to do something productive. I am therefore going to take the challenge of not using Facebook for a whole week and see what affect it has on me.

Will you join me with this challenge?

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