Column: Social Media takeover

Rachel Stone, Staff Writer

As I walk around Santa Barbara City College I am constantly dodging students who are too consumed in their cell phone to see where they are heading.

In class, phones are continuously buzzing, ringing and lighting up in every direction.

This is our reality in 2013, a life filled with texting, Tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming.

Okay, I cannot be a hypocrite; I catch myself checking my phone more than I should. However, let’s be real, have we taken it too far? Future generations will assume this entire social media thing is normal.

Remember the days when we had dial-up Internet and flip phones?

I recall my eighth grade graduation and getting my first cell phone—a pink LG razor so sleek you probably could have actually shaved your legs with it. Now five-year-olds walk around with better phones than I could have ever dreamed about.

Texting used to be an occasional thing. Now you can’t glance away from your phone for five minutes without receiving notifications from every form of social media.

According to a Harvard case study you can actually be addicted to Facebook. Facebook Addiction Disorder is what they are calling it now, and as many as one in seven people are guilty of it. Anxiety, depression and withdrawals are all things people experience when they are not under the influence of Facebook.

We should be more concerned about the images that Facebook is sending out. We are beginning to compare our lives with others and self-esteem issues arise.

The documentary “Catfish” follows the life of a young man and his online relationship with a girl through Facebook. When the couple meets the man is surprised, beyond dismay, when he finds out this girl is not who he thought she was. She compiled a completely make-believe life through Facebook.

It is frightening to know how easy it is to make up false lives through the Internet. How will we be able to distinguish who is real and who is not anymore?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s remarkable that we can keep in contact with loved ones from virtually anywhere in the world now. My housemates are from London, and they are able to keep in close contact with their families every day.

Advances in social media have made long-distance relationships completely achievable. Yet, when will we be able to decipher when too much of a good thing turns bad.

Next time you discover yourself dedicating too much time to your phone, remember this phrase: “everything in moderation.”

Don’t let the developments we have now be the demise of you.  Get outside, breathe fresh air and appreciate the natural things we still have left. Or hey, I suppose you can Instagram what you had for lunch.