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Social Media Addiction | Note 2

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

“Compulsion had always plagued computer-facilitated social networking—it was the original sin.”

Flames were dancing in our brand new stove as I watched them through a glass of wine; candles, music, a delicate smell of smoke. I was about to savour the liquid stillness of midnight.

Suddenly, an urge to reach for my phone —the fire-filled wine wine glass would make such a good looking reel!

I stopped halfway through getting up, dropped back into the armchair and I took a sip of my biodynamic champagne. I tried very hard not to judge myself for the complete inability to enjoy the moment.

For gawd’s sake. I’m celebrating an important personal occasion and all I can think of was making a reel?!

Perhaps indulging in the popular pastime of glorifying the past, I thought back to 2008. I lived in my very first rented apartment in a small town in Sichuan. When I wasn’t at work (as a pre-school English teacher), or sampling the local cuisine, I was most often home, thoroughly enjoying my first ever adult abode. I remember that my neck hurt from dancing to Shakira too much. I remember feeling great, nothing short of perfect happiness.

Fast forward fourteen years, it’s a few minutes past midnight in the very first home I’m sharing with my partner in France. After a year of work, I finally put the finishing touches to our front room — the very room I am sitting in. The occasion warranted a bottle of my favourite wine and a lavish dinner. Then Andy went to sleep and I stayed up to enjoy the evening for a little bit longer.

Yet it felt as if there was a sheet of perspex separating me from my contentment.

So I reached for the phone, certain for a split second that making a reel would remove the barrier. Then, immediately realising my mistake, I face-palmed internally. Broadcasting my perfect little moment to a random number of strangers on the Internet was not what I needed. I had to remind myself that its value wasn’t dependent on how many people saw it.

I feel like in my case the social media’s promise of a voice and an audience fell on a particularly fertile soil. At three, I used to bind paper into booklets and “publish” my scribbles. At ten, I used my grandma’s portable tape recorder... read more now →


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