Being a student means it is important to keep up-to-date with social media sites to communicate with friends and family, as well as those back at home. It’s fair to say that if you look around, the majority of people probably have a smartphone, and are most likely using it. We live in a society that is obsessed with smartphones and communicating through social media sites; as a result our face-to-face contact and relationships have suffered. The amount of things we use our phones for has increased dramatically over the last few years and we no longer use them just for texting and calling, but Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and much more. Over time this has become the norm but perhaps we should change the way we communicate and what we use our phones for, before it really is too late.

Shockingly, yet unsurprisingly, 378,000 iPhones are sold worldwide per day, but only 371,000 babies are born a day((Apple earnings show iPhones sold faster than babies are born, WebProNews)), and it’s this kind of domination that is affecting our lives. It’s strange to think that without our phones we feel lost and disconnected, almost regarding them as important as the air which we breathe.

Photo: Flickr - Yoel Ben-Avraham
Photo: Flickr – Yoel Ben-Avraham

Can you even remember how many messages you sent today or how many tweets you wrote? Probably not, a rather frightening thought. But why are we so obsessed with social media? Perhaps it is the fear of missing out? Or wanting to be heard in a society that is saturated with media messages? You are probably missing out more by not carrying out real life relationships than communicating with friends virtually. The virtual world can make you feel included and up-to-date with the daily gossip, but don’t let your relationships suffer as a result.

In order to make a change, you could perhaps have a ‘phone-free’ day (maybe a Sunday), where you can spend time with friends and family without texting and interacting with the world through social media. Or even an hour every day without your phone for some ‘me-time’. Of course it’s important to carry your phone around for safety, but do you really need to upload that picture or post that tweet? I think we all know the answer but don’t want to face the fact that we are dependent on our smartphones and social media.

It could be said that there is little ‘social’ in social media, so actively pursue real life social relationships and make the effort to spend time with those around you by putting down the phone and communicating and building better relationships. Try monitoring your smartphone and app usage or even set yourself a time limit (there are many websites and applications that can help). Or even meet up with friends and all agree not to use your phones. Smartphones and social media sites aren’t all bad, but perhaps it’s time to get our priorities right.