SOCIAL MEDIA OR SOCIAL SUICIDE?
By: Veantha Naidoo
If we take a look around, one would notice that the generation of today are fixated on social media. Gone are the days of children climbing trees or playing hide and seek. Instead mention the words Twitter, Facebook or Youtube and watch how quickly young adults respond.
With new apps being developed on a daily basis, it’s no wonder people are addicted to the various forms of technology and become victims of the digital era.
A recent Youtube video by Gary Turk entitled Look Up, which has been viewed more than 15 million times, urges individuals to put aside technology in an attempt to re-connect with each other. The video which was written, performed and directed by Turk himself, was posted on April 25, and has been shared by many popular social media users and celebrities such as Jordin Sparks and Andy Murray.
In the video, Turk reads a poem, recitimg phrases such as “This media we call social is anything but ” and “look up from your phone , shut down that display. Stop watching this video , live life the real way “ and “ Give people your love , don’t give them your like”. The five minute video depicts an in-depth story that explores how people miss out on opportunities and new relationships due to their obsession with social networks. The irony in the video is that Youtube, a social network is responsible for making the video as popular as it is.
In an interview with Turk by the Courier Mail, an online publication, he explained that the inspiration for the video sparked when he realised just how much of time he spent posting his experiences on social media instead of spending time with friends. He also added “I believe social media can be a great thing; it’s a fast way to share stuff, store photographs, and to keep in touch with people around the world you would normally find quite difficult to communicate with.“I am in no way against social media or technology, nor am I lecturing people to stop, I just feel a lot of people let it dictate their lives.”
The controversial video has planted a seed of doubt, as it questions the future of social behaviour. Shaun Naidoo, a student explained “The video made a,lot of sense. The world is such that we do value the time spent with technology over the time spent with family.” He concluded that social media if not used cautiously, can end up controlling our lives.