Recently, I had the epiphany. I have become too reliant on my phone. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is grab my phone and scroll through social media. But I don’t even know what I’m looking at most of the time. When I go without looking at social media, I fear I am missing something important in my friends’ lives, like an engagement or job offering. I know, I know! If I am friends with these people, I would find out these milestones in person. But now, everyone posts online as their way of communicating.
As a millennial, everyone automatically assumes I have my phone with me, but why is that? One problem is that we millennials grew up in a digital age. It was so easy for our parents to put a screen in front of our faces to make us stop crying instead of playing with a toy we would soon lose interest in. Our digital mindset is not easy to grow out of, and I believe it is why millennials feel uncomfortable when the world isn’t at their fingertips 24/7.
Social media is growing increasingly popular, too, with Facebook and Instagram having a combined 3.4 billion users, yet millennials still want even more social media channels. Because of this demand, new apps come and go in waves. This means once an app becomes popular, people will often choose to forgo it because these apps are no longer “trendy” or unique.
This short life cycle makes the perfect breeding ground for new apps to flood social media. One of the newest apps to take social media by storm is FaceApp. This platform allows users to upload images of themselves to then be edited by the app, turning the picture into an older or younger version of yourself. Just last week, you couldn’t go on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media app without seeing your friend suddenly look 80 years older. This fury of posts swept up millennials so quickly that few considered the consequences of such an app.
The scariest part is that people are willingly giving FaceApp their data in order to fit in with their friends and have the coolest post on social media. While social media allows you to connect with people all over the globe, the consequences of sharing your personal life is very serious, and likely not worth any competitive social gain on your “friends.” People should remember to put down their phones and enjoy the genuine relationships they experience with their friends. It might even be for your own safety.