Striving for Balance

Recently, there’s been a hype for promoting life outside of social medias and even more recently, a spoken word film called “Look Up” by Gary Turk has garnered more than 17 million views. Even though it’s had both praise and dis, most commentators have missed something crucial in their debate whether social media has been a good or bad influence to society.

Before I begin to tell you what I think, if you haven’t checked it out, here it is.

I think most people take every word of this spoken word to a T, but what they miss is that there is a bit of exaggeration to everything. It’s not completely true, but it’s not false either.

I’m a Game Art and Design student and we revel in the fact that millions of people are so into their gadgets. What does that say? Even the new generation own their own tablets. It’s not just the adults and the teens, but the toddlers as well. And we’re glad for the wide range of consumers. But this isn’t about how it is for us. Social media is accessible now for even the young though probably not used by them (I really wouldn’t know).

Social media has lessened human contact.

That’s what most naysayers would argue. It was something I used to argue, myself, but as self-experience has proven for me, this has been proven as misconception. I have found that I can relay my thoughts to friends more comfortably because I’m actually able to think about what I want to say rather than blabbing endlessly without having relayed the right message. When I have a problem, I feel less forced or rushed when I can think about what I want to say. As a result, I am less prone to feeling depressed and disappointed because I can actually say things I wasn’t able to say before. It has even increased my interactions with friends especially since I go to a different school than all of them. (Though, I must admit, my introvert personality still hinders me from reaching my friendly potentialness- whatever that means.)

But this has been my experience. It’s not always the case.

I’ve also had bad experiences through social networking/ medias. I’ve been prone to cyber-bullying and pranks, and opposite to my earlier defense, I have experience lack of social contact. There have also been times where I believed that social media has both bettered and lessened the quality of life. It made news more accessible. (I use twitter for multiple new sources for when I’m on the go.) Students Everyone has been negatively affected. Where ever I look, I do see people looking down on their phones and I’m guilty of doing it myself (though most times, I’m looking at a blank screen and pretending to be busy for personal reasons). And having done it myself, I can attest to the fact that I DO miss out on so many things in life. I know this for a fact because when I’m not looking at my phone, I take the time to appreciate the little bit of nature that surrounds me.

I can go on and give you an actual list of the pros and cons and argue what’s wrong and right with the arguments, but I don’t want to drag on. The thing is, there really isn’t a black and white stand to this situation. What we must really strive for is a balance in life. Sure, spend some time online and make plans with friends through the Events page on FB. Then when that’s done, go out and have fun. Discuss school assignments online and schedule yourself a study date. Fight bosses together in a game and then go out for coffee, tea, soda or alcohol, whatever you want. Talk about places you went to alone and then go to those places with friends when you have free time.

It all just comes down to the kind of person you are and what you want in your life. The online world isn’t taking away the time you could be spending outside. It’s all about you and the decisions you make for yourself.

And I believe, “Look Up” says this pretty well. At least, that’s what I would like to take from the video.

What are your thoughts?

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