Social Media Impact

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One could wax on rhapsodically on the impact social media has on our daily lives, especially in the smart phone era. Whole essays, written by much smarter and more patient people than I, cover this topic in grand detail. So, in a no way resembling effort to add to the multitude of such writings, I am stream of consciousness swiping along on my smartphone to draw a connection to this subject to battery life.

Stepping back a little, I recently deactivated my Facebook account. Why? Plenty of reasons come to mind that more than adequately answer the question: too much time wasted on consuming mostly inconsequential, unfiltered, extremely biased (one way or the other), unsubstantiated drivel; self loathing incurred from realizing that a high number of digital thumbs up has, quite unfortunately, become important in quantifying and reinforcing self-esteem; it destroys in-person catching up with friends not seen in quite some time as they know all about what you’ve eaten, seen and places you’ve been from your posts, creating an awkward “what’s the point of talking” moment when you respond to each other’s stories with, “Oh yeah! I saw that on Facebook…”; falling into the trap of arguing over political beliefs with uniformed and frankly, stupid people; realizing that when you’re experiencing something amazing, you willingly remove yourself from the experience to take a selfie to post about the experience, thus degrading the experience by missing out and being more concerned if your hair looks good in the photo you’re dying to share. Any and all of these reasons are perfect answers that would allow me to pat myself on my back and say, ” See, I’m a smart fellow trying to take back my life and reestablish a true connection with the world around me, the people I call friend and myself.” And while these excellent reasons have most definitely floated through my mind and given pause to my thinking and using of social media, I must be completely honest and admit that they are not my reasons for deactivating my Facebook.

The unequivocal and one true answer to the question is this: Facebook drains my smartphone battery. That’s it. Plain and simple. I love my smartphone. It’s the most compelling and interesting personal device that has ever been made, for me. It’s evolution has been thrilling for me to experience. Every few months, a new generation in smartphone technology is born, leaping above the last. They are rapidly becoming the tricorder and communicator from Star Trek. Mine can monitor my heart rate, count my steps, detect the oxygen levels in my blood, tell me its internal temperature, connect me to the all powerful Google and it’s ability to give me access to almost anything I wish to know. There’s a new phone that can weigh shit! As in, it has a built in scale. And as useless as that seems, I freaking love it. My smartphone can do so many different things. It’s my resource for any questions I have at any time. It has replaced my need for a television provider as I can stream just about anything I can imagine from it, right to my TV. Hell, it even replaced my TV remote. It is the primary, and often only, access point for all my media consumption from movies to music to television shows. It’s also my kindle, housing hundreds of books that I can read at any time, anywhere. So long as I have battery life. And Facebook kills my battery life!

In truth, my own compulsory addictions to the social network is to blame. And rather than fix that about myself, I’ve chosen the easiest route: deactivate to eliminate use. And it works! Now I make it through the whole day on a single charge. And enjoy all the myriad things my smartphone can do.

In lieu of this, I might have just now forgiven smartphone manufacturers for eschewing bigger batteries for thinner phones…actually… no, no I haven’t. Get with it Apple, HTC, Samsung, Motorola and all the rest! We don’t care how thin the things are, give us a bigger battery. Then maybe I’ll reactivate my Facebook.