I was 12 when I first got my Facebook account. My parents believed it was a good way for me to stay connected to my family who all were starting to disperse across the nation. I already had an email account through a child-friendly service so my parents could access and read every email (even if it had previously been deleted). Facebook felt like my first account that had true freedom on the Internet. I could post whatever I wanted, and I could talk to any of my Facebook friends. My parents warned me not to accept anyone I didn’t know in real life and that even if the Internet seemed temporary and I could delete, posts live on forever. Soon, I was on my way.
In the last scroll through your social media—Facebook and Twitter especially—did you feel happy? Were there an abundance of posts that made you laugh, smile, and feel giddy inside? I reckon there weren’t many. Today’s social media climate has become a toxic sludge pile of negative and emotionally draining posts, filled with arguments in the comments and finger-pointing to cast blame.
One of the latest major updates for the iPhone includes a new setting called “Screen Time.” Using Screen Time, users visually can see data created around how you use your phone. This includes how often you pick up your phone, how many notifications you receive in a day, and the ultimate gut check: how much time you spend on each app. Yikes. Our phones have been integrated in our lives to the point where even tech companies and app developers are trying to give us tools to discern their place in our daily rhythms.