Hi, my name is Lameez and I am addicted to social media.
They say the first step to recovery is admission. Only, I am not in denial and I have no plans to recover. I think Mark Zuckerberg is gangsta and the only regret I have is not dropping out of school to start a multi-billion dollar company by the age of 23, myself. If this journalism thing does not work out, I am asking Mark for a job, to put my B.Com to good use.
Anti-social media campaigns have ironically gone viral. I have seen the videos. I recognize myself, looking at the screens and not “being in touch” with the world. And? They are not entirely objective.
The video where the man misses the chance to meet the love of his life because he is too busy looking down at his screen, and subsequently misses the feeling of holding his grandson in his arms, thirty years later is SO DRAMATIC. Seriously? I can Google tons of people who found love on the internet, they are all on Craigslist.
People say social media makes you more anti-social, what the deuce? (I learnt that from reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, Sherlock Holmes, not from listening to Chris Brown. So, contrary to popular belief, I am a youth who actually reads).
Sure, I hate it when my dad does not hear what I say because he is too busy playing Candy Crush on his iPad, but have you ever played Candy Crush? Have you watched Vines? Do you know YouTube? Does free messaging sound valuable to you? I know more because of Google. How phenomenal- a search engine, literally at your finger-tips. Wikipedia is my friend. Speaking of friends, I am part of an international blogging community where I get to exchange ideas with talented writers and learn to improve my own.
I know the closest relationship I have is with my smartphone. But at least he does not hang out in other people’s pockets.
I have become more in touch with the world because of social media. As an introvert, social media has given me opportunities to voice my opinions appropriately, on platforms where people with differing values and perceptions can engage with me.
True, the environment on the internet creates room for error, some of which can regrettably alter careers. But, in the same breath, the internet can be used constructively to build and promote your most valuable brand- your reputation. I learnt this when I was recruited for a writing job on Twitter. Forget LinkedIn, Pinterest and Dora the explorer (I do not know why I said that, she sounds like she could be an app) each day the number of avenues for you to express yourself on the web are growing in creative ways.
I know the closest relationship I have is with my smartphone. But at least he does not hang out in other people’s pockets. And when he gets boring I can always replace him with a better model.
I know all my Instagram posts are useless things I find in the newsroom, but there are people out there who think my pictures of mouldy coffee cups are epic. And I happen to think James Franco selfies look good all the time.
I know that I tweet a lot about music, but there are millions of us across the world who think Ed Sheeran is the coolest ginger.
I know that what you do not pay the internet in money, you pay for in time. But if you are responsible, the internet could be the best way for you to optimise your time.
So when you see me walk into a room, know that my first question will be: “Is there Wifi in here?”
This article was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela