For people in their forties and above now, their growing up did not include so much of what the millennials have grown up witnessing today.  For the former, social media was never even a thing as the case is today. (Thank God because those selfies would be scary)

Nowadays, most kids are growing up with an iPhone in their faces for hours at a time, as they scroll through Instagram waiting for Kim Kardashian to post a photo of herself showing off her curves. I guess you can say, times have definitely changed.

In Uganda today, almost everyone has a social networking profile of some sort. Does that not sound insane to you? Of the entire population, 53.06% have an account on Facebook, 22.2% on Pinterest, 14.71% on Twitter, 5.11% on Instagram, 4.55% on YouTube and 0.14% on LinkedIn. We are relying more on social media than we do on each other, and many different issues are stemming from this.

Its no doubt that we have become so obsessed with likes, followers, comments, right swipes, and just about everything to do with gaining social media attention, that we may have forgotten about other important things in life. Like, everything else.

Our parents often share stories that back in the day, “we would meet someone in a coffee shop, call them to set up another date, and then spend more and more quality time getting to know them.” Nowadays, we swipe right on someone’s selfie on Tinder, then Snapchat them, follow them on Instagram, tweet them and pray that they text us back. And, let’s not forget, we pray to God that they like and comment on our latest selfie.

This kind of obsession leads to plenty of presumed self-esteem and self-value issues. And, if kids are exposed to this at such a young age, what does that say for their growth and maturity?

In today’s society, some people honestly believe that their popularity, beauty and self-worth are dependant on the number of likes they receive on their selfie. This can be insanely damaging to one’s self-esteem as high standards can often be almost impossible to attain, especially if they’re comparing themselves to celebrities like the Kardashians, Selena Gomez, or Justin Bieber, just to name a few. 

For those kids or young adults experiencing depression or anxiety, they may carefully edit their posts to mask serious problems and pretend perfection. This is a huge issue if you consider how hard it makes it for their parents and friends to see when help is extremely necessary. Also, those same teens who have created these false online personas may end up feeling discouraged and depressed when they focus on the gap between who they pretend to be and who they really are.

If you’re one of the millions of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat addicts, here are some tips to help manage your social media life:

1. Limit yourself.  Stop spending hours looking at a screen, when you can spend hours reading a new book, taking on a new hobby, or spending time with family and friends.

2. Take a smartphone or social media break or BOTH. If you’re a busy person (or at least you think you are), and you can’t take time away from your phone because of so many important emails, wow. Where was I going with this? Oh ya, then take a social media break for at least a week! Repeat this as often as possible. Sometimes a break is all you need to get yourself in the right headspace, and to make sure that your addiction doesn’t get too drastic.

3. Convince others to repeat these 2 steps. Especially family or friends (those who really matter). If you go up to someone on the subway and tell them to take a break from social media, they may attack you.

 

4. The last tip I can give for now (mainly because I, myself am addicted to social media) is to stop worrying about the likes, followers and comments that you receive. Focus more on becoming a better YOU, and I promise, that is all that truly matters.

 

 

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  • * In Uganda today, almost everyone has a social networking profile of some sort. Does that not sound insane to you? Of the entire population, 53.06% have an account on Facebook, 22.2% on Pinterest, 14.71% on Twitter, 5.11% on Instagram, 4.55% on YouTube and 0.14% on LinkedIn. We are relying more on social media than we do on each other, and many different issues are stemming from this.
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