Today’s generation is logging off, possibly for the last time. There has been a trend of internet addicts deleting their social media accounts. This is a step in a positive direction that will help tone down the overwhelming and superficial world beyond the computer and phone screen. Anyone from celebrities, such as Lena Dunham and Jaden Smith, to Facebook stalkers are stepping away from the crowded scene of the online world.
Both adults and teenagers are following this trend. Whether it’s deleting their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts, they are all trying to get away from the overwhelming growing influence of the vast electronic existence.
A poll from Vice’s website about using Twitter demonstrated the growing “social media fatigue”. Vice also points out the ability of social media to promote a fake reality. Anyone can have the ability to completely reproduce their appearance or even vacations with a few clicks.
A woman once faked a 5-week excursion to Southeast Asia as an experiment to prove the ability to manipulate reality using technology. There is also a growing occurrence of “catfishing” which is defined as luring someone into a relationship using a fictional online persona.
In the words of a former Central Dauphin High School student Isabella Lomma, “I deleted social media because I was spending so much time in what I consider a false world that I wasn’t accomplishing as much in the real world. In my opinion, social media is a pointless form of entertainment and I would rather be experiencing the real world with people in my life not online.”
Along with this fictitious reality, the desire for privacy is strong among internet users. There is a growing awareness of the digital footprint that this generation is leaving. People have a newfound desire to not exist when searched on Google.
This generation is realizing the jealousy and envy that networking creates that can lead to self-loathing. People continuously compare their lives to these seemingly perfectly displayed lives of their facebook friends. Pictures of engagement rings, children’s achievements, and new cars plaster people’s screens, which can lead to the question of why their life doesn’t resemble their Facebook “friends’”.
Also, the fulfillment and thrill associated with the technological trend has faded more and more over the years. Many teens scroll mindlessly through their feeds, not connecting to the material. The dual satisfaction of having a clear head and decluttered electronic life is growing.
There is a new cognizance about the true value of authentic, face to face connections rather than the false value associated with technological connections.
“We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating, and yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.” stated psychologist and M.I.T. professor Sherry Turkle in an opinion piece for New York Times.
With addition of the children of today, the adults have also realized this value. As of January 2014, 74% of adults that use the internet also use social media sites according to Pew Research Center. One in five adults say they used Facebook but no longer do because of reasons such as privacy, gossip, and time. Adults who have been around long enough to know what life is like without the clutter of social networks soon realize that it was a more authentic, simpler way of life.