I think there’s something wrong with us.

I’m not referring to the age old struggle of man versus sin.

I’m talking about the Internet. I think the Internet has messed up the world. This is me – a millennial studying in a field where it mostly thrives off of the Internet – thinking that the Internet has caused us harm.

Don’t get me wrong: the Internet has helped information spread to corners of the earth like no other information carrier before. It has revolutionized so many aspects of our life as we know it. Everyone knows how beneficial the Internet has been in advancing our society.

But I’m not writing about that…I’m writing to you about how everyone around my age spends their free time obsessing over social media (myself included). It’s become an unhealthy obsession for my generation and the generations below and above my own. It’s scary how much worth we put into our virtual selves, almost so that we seem like a sliver of who we are online than in actual reality.

I’m writing this because it seems that my generation is as depressed, as lonely, and as anxious as ever before…and I think it’s because of the Digital Age.

 

I’m 19 years old. I remember how life was when I was 6 years old, before I knew what the Internet was. We had computers back then, but it was more for games rather than for connecting to the entirety of the world. I remember when my free time consisted of drawing, playing with toys, spending time with my parents – but mostly playing make believe with friends or by myself.

What happened between then and now? When I was 8, I started playing online games (…Neopets and Club Penguin) and connecting with other people on the Internet. I started watching Youtube videos. When I was 11, I made my first Twitter account. Throughout my pre-teen and teen years, when other people’s opinions of me mattered the most, I started investing more and more time on social media. It was an unspoken requirement to have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to be seen as normal. I’m sure this is how it’s like for many people my age.

A couple years later, and this is still how it is. It’s evolved to be even more prominent than it was a few years ago.

This constant exposure to other people is horrifying to me. People are constantly messaging you or updating their social media presence. There are no breaks from people. There aren’t any breaks for your mind thinking about how people perceive you.

Remember the last time you were truly alone? For me, that was being alone in my room, listening to music and writing in my journal. The last time I remember that feeling was when I was 11.

Social media is just a part of life now. The only way to ‘escape’ it is to go rogue. Though I have to say…I don’t think it’s an option for me. I really do think my career depends on the Internet. It’s just how the world runs. It’s the Digital Age, and we’re all trapped in its web.

Read the original blog post here.

 

Published by Eunice Lee