Social media platforms are addictive. There is no denying this truth. But, have you ever wondered why they make one addicted to them? What about them attracts a user enough to spill the smallest components of their everyday life on to these platforms. Are we so eager to be judged by strangers and friends from the days past that we compromise our safety for it?
Well the honest answer to this is technology. Not restricted to the platform (Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Periscope etc ) the user has an added attraction to the technology involved.
Technology: A Honey Trap
If not for the advanced technology that these Social Media platforms used, how could you share the sunrise on the 1st January of the new year in New Zealand while at your current location it is still the morning of 31st December of the previous year? How else can you see the amazing life lived by celebrities as they jet set across the globe? Don’t even get us started on how perfect they are for jilted lovers to stalk location check ins of their ex.
Technology has converted many things into a reality which were unimaginable before. Let’s take a look at some of the features which have kept us hooked onto social media.
Real Time Video Transmission:
This is probably one of the most attractive feature that is available to us via social media platforms. From watching the peaceful and tranquil beaches of Hawaii while one sits in the blistering heat of Dubai is a different joy in itself. One becomes the anchor of a social revolution by broadcasting live any demonstration or protest that is being undertaken in their city. This real-time video streaming is highly addictive. Facebook allows the users to use their camera to broadcast themselves live. Similarly, Twitter has created an independent app by the name of Periscope with which one does not need to buy special gadgets to make any videos. A simple smartphone and an active net connection is all one needs. How can this amazingly advanced technology not be addictive? With the psychological mindset of You Only Live Once (YOLO) the new age netizens have adapted it as a way of life.
The algorithm used by Social Media Applications creates posts such as, “Your mutual XYZ friend is attending ABC event. Would you like to join in?” Such prompting makes one click in one of the 3 options that are given at the end of the post. Interested, Not Interested and Not Going”. The minute one clicks on any one of the options, it is immediately broadcasted on one’s timeline. This creates a sense of community in those who are going and a sense of doubt with Fear Of Missing Out if the users answer is not going.
Such nudge posts are very addictive as they help one keep an eye out on the plans of our friends and family within the city. Why won’t we use them again and again? Such nudge posts are pretty commonly created on Facebook and even Twitter has them. They are called, ‘In Case You Missed It’, highlights of someone else’s activities displayed on your timeline to interest you in joining them or following them.
How deep do your pockets go? With the help of Virtual Reality enabled games, one can easily create a whole new world with multiple luxurious items. Games or extensions enabled with Virtual Reality give one the option of living the high life when one sits in their pjs. Virtual reality let’s one express their creativity and create their own community along with it. 360-degree videos that enable one to get the maximum experience out of a location are highly addictive and visually stimulating. Oculus Rift, a VR gaming gear gives life like experiences. We can create videos while riding a roller coaster or walking or trekking in the Amazon jungle. We can then upload our Virtual adventures onto YouTube or Facebook for sharing with our followers. Check it out here
In conclusion: We Are Hooked!
The reality of the matter is that the above mentioned have us hooked. We cannot quit them by simply uninstalling any application. Over the years use of these tools of technology has changed our entire psyche. For us to actually quit social media, we may need to exercise the very thing that our elders preached. We need to Get Out. Step right out that door and live that sunrise ourselves. If it’s not possible due to budget restrictions, then we work to that goal. The very first step towards this end path is Social Fever.
This application has been created by Systweak and helps a user to take time out for themselves and their family. It helps you limit your smartphone usage, while keeping a check on specific application usage. It even offers you multiple options in the ‘Interest Field’. The options available are, furry friend (time taken to pet your cats or dogs) bicycle riding, cooking, dancing, gardening, gyming, painting, swimming etc. amongst others. It even registers the number of times a user unlocks their phone. At the end of the week, it offers a report in which it displays the smartphone usage undertaken over that period of time. This application requires Android 4.0 and above to run. You can download it here.
Remember what Bilbo Baggins said, “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.” But, what an adventure that would be.