I remember a time not too long ago when the internet was just a foreign concept (and no, I promise I’m not that old). I remember: I was in Year 7, having just entered the big scary world of secondary school education, and mi familia still didn’t have any access to Google, or Facebook, or – god forbid – MSN.
So the question is, how on earth did I survive? And honestly, to this day, I don’t know the answer.
I mean, where would we be now without Google to give us the answer to everything? Without being able to find directions to this place or that place, or to use Tripadvisor to plan our excursions, or Cosmopolitan magazine to give us arguably hollow relationship advice, or this month’s horoscope, or a list of Britain’s 50 hottest men? Where would we be without the internet to guide our university applications, our job searches, emails to save phone-phobic people the heart-stopping job of actually SPEAKING to people for once?
WHERE WOULD WE BE?!
I think everyone would agree, we’d be completely and utterly screwed.
The problem is not just the evolution of the internet (though of course this contributes massively to the epidemic of social media dependency), but people’s reliance on the internet that has catapulted our entire population into a technological frenzy. I mean, even my grandma is on Facebook and has as much a thing for emojis (especially the thumbs up and kissing face) as the next person. My granddad has an iPod, though he was admittedly disappointed when he visited a café not long after he bought it and was offered Free Wifi, only to find out it was not, in fact, a biscuit… And my great aunt has an iPad, yet resorts to calling up my mum on a weekly basis with a list of questions like ‘who is this Siri?’ and ‘what on earth is safari?’
So yes, we would be screwed without the internet (even the older generation…) but, equally, I feel the internet has screwed us up already.
As a population, we are addicted. Myself included.
I do, in all honesty, snapchat way too much. I do check Facebook hourly (for reasons I don’t even understand). Like I said: I. AM. ADDICTED.
So in light of this, when I woke up this morning and thought to myself about what a sad, sad human being I have become, I decided to undertake a social media detox. And no, I have absolutely no idea how long this is going to last, but I have already logged out of snapchat, Facebook and instagram, have turned off my phone and am going to attempt to have at least ONE mobile free day. If only because I’m fed up of feeling controlled by a piece of computerised metal. I’m fed up of being Apple-washed by my own devices.
I’m especially fed up of feeling like crap most of the damn time when my boyfriend doesn’t reply to a text, or a Facebook message or, heaven forbid, doesn’t like a profile picture. Yes, the internet keeps us close (when we’re living three and a half hours away from each other) and emotionally connected, but it also makes me unbelievably overanalytical and insecure. For which, I am not thankful.
So I need time out.
Problem is, I only shut myself off from social networking all of half an hour ago and I’m already itching to check Facebook. I’m heading off to IKEA later with a friend and know that if I don’t leave my phone behind, there will be too many snapchat opportunities to resist turning my phone back on and spamming my boyf with completely pointless pictures of homeware.
Like I said, the iPhone 6 has turned me into a sad, sad human being.
So wish me luck, because I have a feeling today is going to be difficult.