New perspectives on social media are needed. Now becoming quite the cliché, social media has dominated our lives; from parents centimetres away from their babies but millimetres away from their screens to entire social networks, which are supposed to be based upon real in person communications, now completely founded online. And of course, these convenient developments are certainly not a bad thing, but big companies such as YouTube and Instagram are literally investing money into ways to get you more addicted to their platforms using specialised search algorithms. So, what can we do to take back control over our lives?

First of all, we must first clearly understand the issue at hand. Prehistorically, humans have built tribes and civilisation from surviving in the wild by hardwiring their brain to seek the highest reward with the lowest energy, socially networking and trading with other tribes, and being self-conscious of - everything. Your ancestors would be shocked to see that must of us can’t even do anything without our phones. With convenience taken to the extreme technology is developed to such an extent where social interaction is optional, the self awareness of what we consume such as information is lowered and your survival depends on others. And now on to the solution:

One way we can fix this problem is with tackling the root cause. Social media and our phone. In our modern day and age, one can hardly survive without a smartphone that connects to the internet, connects us to people and manages our bank accounts. So that leaves social media: just to clarify, these social media companies are doing nothing wrong inherently; it’s natural that as competition in the social media market increases, so must the companies and therefore the ease of access it provides for consumers. And used for good, social media can be a huge asset in ones life; it’s just that since the repeated dopamine surges related to the algorithms prey on our innate human instincts, it’s harder than ever to do so. So here are some solutions: restrict access to them and keep that same level of self awareness. For example, for the first solution, one can set screen time limits and give the passcode to a trusted person (you can search on YouTube for more solutions (how ironic)), and for the second solution one can make a habit of journalling (read Atomic Habits for a clearer guide).

Overall, I’m sure you can agree with me when I say that this is a problem that needs fixing across all generations, especially those growing up with technology such as Gen Z and Gen Alpha. It is imperative that you understand how not controlling your use of social media can completely change the course of your life. Don’t let that phone take your power from you, and the next time you hear the dinging of a notification just remember that you truly are the master of your own destiny.