Perils of the Internet

Over the course of the day, the majority of my Internet use can be sourced to homework through my phone, though it is often required for classwork. Aside from the amount of Internet use for my homework, the next highest amount of time I use is for social media. Aside from Twitter, I am currently involved in nearly every kind of social media available, including Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Instead of spending a certain amount of time checking my social media or texts, I found that I check it often, in short periods of time, nearly constantly, making it hard to track and causing me to realize that all the minutes add up.

This stands to be the norm for many modern day teenagers. Though it sounds quite cliche to to say that the world has become a sadder place that is constantly glued to their phones, there is a lot of truth to this. Personally, I have checked social media an average of about 4 hours a day. While I find myself being thankful for being able to connect with people, I mostly use it as a method of distraction, checking it mostly while I am doing work. Before I sleep, I often check it for hours, looking at funny videos or memes, preventing myself from sleeping (30 minutes before I sleep). This may be correlated to the perils and situations depicted in the Black Mirror episode, Nosedive. In Nosedive, the images depicted scenes of a culture in which social media and ratings from other members of the community represented one’s worth. It was all that everyone thought about, constantly watching their rates, never doing even work. If one had a lower rating, there were severe lack of benefits, causing the main character, Lacie, to go insane. I don’t believe that this could be out of question for the future. Unfortunately, girls will take photoshoots for Instagram pictures, and many implement Facetune in order to make their pictures “perfect”. I, too, am guilty of going through hundreds of pictures taken at events and only posting one, stating that all the other ones were “bad”. I am also completely guilty of looking up people before meeting them and attempting to determine who they are as a person through social media. I saw the potential perils of falling into the situation of Nosedive because of my day.

Nosedive, leading me to me see the importance that people place in how others view them, reminded me of a time that my friend posted a politically charged sign regarding the Women’s March. It was a sign that read “Thou shalt not take my reproductive rights, Fallopians 2:11”, based off of the Bible’s commandments. Parents of people she didn’t really know commentated angry remarks and long paragraphs that because she was Indian and did not believe in form of Christianity, she couldn’t use the Bible. On Instagram, she lost nearly 20 followers. This reminded me of the Political Bubble article and how people prefer to view things that have the same views as them. Angry comments were also left on her Instagram, causing her to decide not to post her opinions in the future. She was limited in her opinions like in Nosedive, although the problem did not rest with her. People simply are not educated in the idea that diversity of ideas are important. My use of social media got me to think in this way.

The most amount of time I used for the Internet was to do homework, adding up to about 5 and a half hours. I used Google Docs, Sakai, online textbooks, and my Outlook throughout the day. Things are a lot easier than when I would be doing homework in middle school, where I constantly would be required to bring all my textbooks. I would also have to bring notebooks for every subject, rather than taking notes on Google Drive. Things are easier, now, especially for group projects where we can work on the same document at the same time, rather than saving and emailing the project; however, there are cons to the use of technology. A con would be that there is less of an excuse now that everything’s online. One cannot blame a snow day or not having the textbook for not doing the work, because it is always available. On a more serious note, technology has taught us to be distracted. With the availability of multiple tabs, notifications, and constant communication, I have realized the multitude of ways that I could be more efficient.

I could set off time in which I check my phone for entertainment after I maximize my schoolwork time. I could additionally try to use my phone less. But, I have learned that I have gained so much dependency on my phone that I do not have much of an urge to use it less. I wake up to an alarm from my phone and check it in order to wake up in the morning. At night, it is the last thing I see for entertainment and for making an alarm for the morning. Unfortunately, out of this experience, I felt while there are a lot of detriments to the use of Internet, it is inevitable that I continue to use it, and perpetuate the stereotypes of the modern age.

2 Replies to “Perils of the Internet”

  1. I think the example you used about your friend is particularly telling to what people want to see on their social media. I understand why your friend would feel attacked and not want to post her political beliefs to the public anymore: however, I also feel that people need to see things that go against their typical grain. It is important for people’s ideas to be pushed. I think social media has the potential to help that if only it allows for people not to customize away ideas that don’t match their own. Great article – very interesting read!

  2. I appreciate your honesty in describing the conscious decisions of choosing and perfecting photos uploaded to social media. I also think that your comparison of our use of social media to the Black Mirror episode Nosedive makes a valuable point about how easy it is to feel the need for validation from strangers via likes or stars and demonstrates what really is technological peril.

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