The use of mobile phones is increasing and, consequently, the use of social media is also on the rise. Due to the increase in the number of people with social media accounts, there is a further compelling desire to stay on the platforms and our devices, despite being told that they are damaging and addictive.

Having a device that can provide online connection has become a primary desire and necessity in modern-day. This is due to the possibility of becoming severely disconnected from your peers and society if you too, do not own a device or are not members of social media platforms. The idea of being disconnected increases the pressure felt to stay on these addictive platforms, as we do not want to feel that everybody else is a part of something we are not. The integration of technology into our lives is now inevitable. However, we must raise the question as to why we accept the world we are presented with. Why do we not question whether technology and social media is now doing more harm than good?

One instance where our addiction to technology is apparent is when travelling on public transport. Heads down, fingers tapping, earphones in, is the customary scene observed when boarding a bus or entering a train carriage. As a frequent public transport user, I must admit I am often wholly absorbed in the current electrical device I have clutched in my hands. The possibility of a new notification or text message is an unquestionably powerful force that makes it nearly impossible to put the device away. This harmful addiction leads to the socially normalised action of blatantly ignoring others when on public transport and generally in society.

However, an institution where our addiction is attempted to be managed is in schools. For example, at Bancroft’s School, from Year 7 until Year 11, phones are prohibited from being used at any point in the school day. This acts to prevent us from constantly relying on our phones for entertainment or to be used for pointlessly scrolling on social media or other websites. Although this rule successfully forces us to suppress our human instinct of immediately reaching for our phones when we are alone or bored during school, will there ever be an occasion where everybody successfully goes a day without checking their phones at least once?

Becky Wright, a pupil at Bancroft's School, told me what she thought about social media: "I think social media is beneficial, for both businesses and individuals bringing awareness to things. We're very lucky that today we can contact our friends and share our lives at the click of a button. However, there is definitely a toxic and addictive culture generated by using social media. I use it a lot and generally, my experience has been positive but I understand that detoxes are important."

Technology is designed to be addictive and, therefore, we could blame the creators, or we could take personal ownership of our use of addictive devices.

Holly Timmis