My Life Revolves Around My Phone

“There’s growing evidence to suggest that some individuals can develop a dependency on social media that’s not unlike an addiction to alcohol or drugs,”

Paul G. Simeone, Ph.D.

This week, when I was supposed to be studying I found myself distracted. Like most people from my generation, the first thing I did was reach for my phone. I went right to click on Instagram, I needed mindless scrolling and obligatory like counts to distract my brain from anything but the exam I had. However, when I clicked on the app something new appeared. My Instagram account, which I have had since I was in third grade, about 10 years, was suspended. My heart dropped. My photos were gone, my followers were gone, along with all my likes and comments. I begin to spiral. I needed my Instagram back, and fast. How was I supposed to see who was commenting on my post? When would I be able to stalk my friends? But, there was nothing I could do except wait.

As days passed, I heard nothing. I felt like I was going through withdrawals the way I clicked my Instagram dozens of times a day, forgetting a blank page would just appear. Anytime I need a distraction, or a conversation was not interesting enough, or my professor’s lecture was just too boring I click on the app, just to relieve none of that satisfaction I craved. When in reality, it is just a social media site.

With all this free time, I got to thinking. Why is my generation so addicted to social media? With the talk of TikTok being banned, I know I am not the only one who fears having to sit within my thoughts, the mindless scrolling keeps us stimulated and entertained. According to Jefferson, social media creates dopamine, which allows feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. The amount of likes, comments, and shares we get allows for the reward center in our brains to go off. This then releases a higher amount of dopamine, similar to if you were gambling or doing drugs.

Here’s a quick TikTok that talks about phone/social media addiction and how it happens. He is better at explaining the science than I am.

Then, I got to even more thinking. I posted pictures I like on Instagram, I was not catering to a particular audience. Whether it was photos of my friends that was cute or something I looked good in. I looked back and noticed that of all my photos, my most liked picture was one of me on a beach, and you guessed it, in a bikini. Why was this my most liked photo? It is almost two years old and nothing special, but it gained me the most engagement. According to Social Media Perth, a website catered to making content for those who want to learn more about making content, over 53% of Instagram users is male. In every age demographic on Instagram, there are more males than females. I believe this, along with 7 of the top 10 most followed people on Instagram being women, has something to do with the type of content they post. Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, who are among the top 5 most followed accounts, tend to post risqué content which has allowed them to gain billions of likes across their accounts. With some of their most like posts being ones that are nude or near it. This sexualization of women, especially through Instagram where anyone can post anything, creates an environment where women must stay objectified. I won’t get into detail for personal sake, but, when a hundred comments are discussing Kylie Jenner’s probably photoshopped perfect body, It makes you think about how other users on the platform are looking and judging celebrities, and my own posts.

One day, maybe in the future, Instagram will let me back into my account. But as of right now, I don’t know if I want it back. The constant endless scrolling and objectification of myself and other women on the internet is not the image I want to surround myself with. Yet, for my FOMO and online stalking purposes, I would love my account back.

3 thoughts on “My Life Revolves Around My Phone

  1. I honestly would have been the exact same way if my Instagram had been suspended. I think Instagram has a lot to do with showcasing yourself and is about likes and follows, but for me because I’m not a creator on TikTok and more an observer, it’s a lot about distraction instead. Tiktok pulls me away from production whereas Instagram more fuels my negativity towards myself. It definitely feels like a drug constantly pulling me in every time I go in TikTok and promise myself I will only be on for 10 minutes but end up losing hours of my day.


  2. I can definitely relate to this feeling. I often find myself going through my phone and clicking on the same few apps all the time, even if there is nothing interesting on it or I continue to scroll mindlessly. It makes me feel disconnected and embarrassed when I realize how big of an impact my phone and social media have on me. I’ve tried to take steps toward reducing this habit by taking certain apps off my home screen so they’re less “clickable,” but when I want to be distracted this doesn’t stop me!


  3. I really relate to this post. I actually was talking about it the other day with my friend to try and stop using it as much, but I hate to say it, I couldn’t. Every time I got bored I would go straight to TikTok. I also was thinking about it and found it rather gross that my most liked pictures are ones where I am in a bikini as well.


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