And a full-on addicted one at that.
When I wake up in the morning, I dopily switch off my alarm, and through sleep-encrusted, bleary eyes, I survey the familiar red notifications of my facebook feed and gleefully observe the Instagram likes my page has racked up overnight. I get up, pull on my clothes, go downstairs and make a cup of tea, my phone still clutched in hand, flicking through my newsfeeds and notifications. I have not yet opened my mouth, smiled at anyone- had any interaction with a real-life human being, yet I have communicated with almost twenty. I am experiencing the ability to feel not-lonely in an empty room. I know that friend A went to a concert last night, friend B left her purse on the bus, friend C passed out after being in a nightclub (thanks to photo evidence from friend D) and that three people really like my photo of a recent trip to Rome.
But is this phenomena really for the best?
Friend A - I can guarantee spent most of their concert viewing it though the screen on their mobile, more worried about letting their friends-list know about their experience than actually living and enjoying it themselves. For when did an idea or a vision of reality and people's approval of an activity, truly overtake the activity itself?
The status received over 30 likes, however did the euphoria of receiving this many likes and thus-forth creating a feeling of popularity, overtake the feeling gained from the actual concert? Are the aftermaths on social media of our events becoming more important than the events themselves?
My Mum recently showed me some photos of her and her family and friends when she was younger. These were all beautifully placed in an album, laughing, beautiful shots that are great to look back on and revel in the memories. Nowhere in sight was a horrendously-drunk straddled over a bench, sick in hair, makeup smudged horrendous memoir that many can relate to having plastered by a merciless friend over your newsfeed.
"Remove that NOW" and 'Untagging' were non-existent, and they all looked happy. Photos weren't measured by 'likes' and 'comments' they were just about living in a moment.
Recently I received a text from a friend "please can you like the selfie I just uploaded to facebook" since when did the amount of 'likes' received become such a prominent part of our lives that we have to ask others to give them, in order to feel popular?
Since when did our self-esteem kicks come from superficial button-clicks as opposed to real-life compliments?
And when did it become an addiction?
And no longer are we content with just one screen.
It is not a rare occurrence nowadays to be sat watching a film with family or friends, and have a number (if not all) sitting with phone in hand, or laptop on lap, enthralled by a hyper-realistic world available at the touch of a button.
The best moments of lives are shared for the world to see, and whether it's a holiday, a romance or a night out with friends, we feel part of it- happy for them, sad for them and jealously also, is shared. You have the power to 'unfriend' someone- thus causing upset, hurt and anger in some cases- (particularly when family is involved,) whereas in the past, to cut someone out of your life, you simply didn't have to see them- and they were none the wiser. If you wanted to cancel friends as you were feeling lazy, you had to go through the physical effort of calling or meeting them- the face to face task bearing much more guilt and therefore leading to a tendency to not cancel for meaningless reasons. The ability to simply send a quick text eradicates this feeling- you can remove yourself from the situation and take away the humane-ness which comes from real-life interaction.
Of course, there are positives too- I am able to keep in touch with my uncle who lives in Bali and I would otherwise not be able to see, I can send a quick text to my partner to let him know I'm thinking of him. When I am at home poorly I can keep in touch with what's going on with others, and I can get inspired for photo shoots for Seen in the City from other brands on social media. It is also a great networking tool for businesses, with social media generating significant drive and views for industries (the fashion industry in particular.) However it is important that we don't forget to live in the real world. The one before the screen and the one we are in now.
Do you think technology is becoming too much? Do you think it will get worse or better? Let me know in the comments below...