Opinion: Social Media Is A Blessing And A Curse
Written by Brandon Lewis on March 17, 2019
Photo Credit: anthillonline.com
Wednesday March 13, 2018: A day that will live forever.
Facebook and Instagram were shut down.
According to The Washington Post, over 2 billion Facebook and Instagram users were unable to access their accounts for over 24 hours. Furious over the outrage, users went to Twitter to complain. Both #FaceBookOutrage and #InstagramOutrage were in the top three trends all three times I was on Twitter during the hours the social media sites were shut down. Users acted like their life was over.
I monitored the situation because I thought it was hilarious seeing people freak out over not being able to post something on their Facebook or Instagram for a little over a day. As I wrote for BSR back in 2017, social media is not the end of the world. When Lebron James returned to Cleveland in 2014, I found out during the postseason he does this thing called #ZeroDarkThirty where he shuts down all of his social media, and I decided to follow his lead and do the same.
It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Not being on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, Facebook or Snapchat from April 16-June 19 opened up my eyes and ears. I realized I choose to be on social media, but that I do not need it, and that social media is both a blessing and a curse. Yes, it is fun to post photos and updates and interact with others, but sometimes social media can catch us in a vortex.
Because we are so used to getting our news through social media now, we think we need it to survive, but in reality that is not the truth. I did not find myself missing any information over the 65 day span. All I did was watch the news.
In 2019, we think of the news as something only old people watch, but actually the news covers everything a person can get from their Twitter timeline. You just have to be willing to take the time to put down your device and watch your television screen right before you go to sleep.
During my hiatus, I was a lot happier. I was not dealing with trolls. I believed in what my heart said, and I still felt as connected to the world as I would if I was on social media.
So, after my wonderful experience the first time around, I have done it four more times, and each time has been more of a success. While the Indians and Cavs may not have brought home a championship those other four times, it was calming to me that I could just focus on the postseason without the distraction of negative thoughts from fans.
During the Indians 2018 postseason run, I decided to try to stay on social media this time and compare my experiences. While the Indians only were in the playoffs for five days, I was miserable almost all five days because of the non-positive words used at the team after a loss.
One of the reasons I decided to do Lebron’s Zero Dark Thirty in the first place was because I believe in the postseason you have to eliminate distractions and only focus positively no matter the result. The postseason is like a roller coaster. There’s a lot of hills your team must climb, but through it all you must remain positive.
With my bad experience during the 2018 postseason, I have decided that I will take another hiatus for the summer after the semester. Right now, I am only on social media to promote my show, also known as the blessing of social media. Social media can help get us more views and followers, but at the end of the day we have to learn that we do not actually need it.
Just like when I wrote the original article back in 2017: I challenge you, the reader. I challenge you to take a month off from social media. That includes no Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or Twitch whatsoever. Youtube can be used for educational purposes only. Let me know how you feel afterwards.
Brandon Lewis is a sports coordinator for blacksquirrelradio. He hosts a show on blacksquirrelradio.com called Brandon’s World on Saturdays from 10 am-12 pm.
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