Media Dependency

Media Dependency

How many selfies do you snap in a day?

How long do you skim back and forth before you decide the ideal picture to post?

How many of your online posts truly reflect the real you?

The common theme being you. Carl Rogers, a psychologist, once proposed that we have 3 faces to ourselves which integrate to achieve ‘self-actualisation.’

My-self. The ideal self. The real self.

The truth is the world of technology is changing us to become whom we simply aren’t, and as we sit behind our screens to feel safer than ever, we connect to disconnect from the truths of reality.

Social media is an emerging addiction in itself that we often fail to recognise, simply because the most talked about topics of addiction are related to physical substances – i.e. drugs, alcohol. Addiction is characterised as a neurological disorder due to either a physical substance or psychological behaviours, which activate and engage stimuli to provide us with a ‘dopamine kick’ to help us reap the rewards.

Recent investigations over the last few months show how tailored algorithms are produced directly from an individuals daily social activity, sorting out posts on your feed based on relevancy and how the big technology companies prioritise posts based on ‘like to like’ means. What this essentially means is when you finally decide to log off, you’ll receive an instant notification that is tailored to you to trick your mind to get you straight back on.

Statistics from the UK government (2020) show that the average user spends ~110 minutes on social media per day. What we know is the time spent on social media platforms can increase for up to ~6-7 hours for individuals in the younger generation, those born after 1995 - we now call the ‘gen-z’. Scientists have said that ~2 hours a day is sufficient to return messages, update posts and prevent any lasting long-term neurological changes within our brains.

These apps are used virally to allow others gain insight into our daily lives, ‘pree’ on our achievements more so than struggles. How often do you post about an uneventful event that has occurred in your life? How often do we use social media platforms to raise self-awareness? Is it simply enough to just copy, paste and share blindly without actively engaging and supporting these causes. NO it simply isn’t.

All it takes is 1 online troll, 1 passive comment or even 1 dislike to create rage within our souls. So rather than be victims to the shame, let’s be active.

We’ve all heard or even used the phrase - ‘Well that escalated quickly’ or ‘shots fired’. What does this really mean? The vast amount of negative news gaining traction seems quicker than the speed of light. Naming and shaming, whether targeting an individual, an organisation or a body is subject to liability. Sikhs are an ever-growing community where we have been taught by our Guru’s to stand up for ourselves and beliefs, to be strong and to be forever courageous.

What are you doing actively to help our Punjab farmers?

What are you doing to help stop the rise in suicidal rates in Punjabi men?

Switch of, albeit even 10 minutes. Look up, engage with family, friends and the sangat (community) and educate yourself on these topics. We as a generation need to step up. It’s now or never.

The world needs YOU, even the smallest of contributions in your eyes, can lead to a major change we urgently need.

Let us utilise social media but for its good use after all.

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