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The latest drug of young millennials

The millennials’ dilemma is their growing addiction to technology from electronic gadgets to what are called smart phones. From toddlers to teenagers, student to executive, man or woman, everyone seems addicted to gadgets. Then there is the social media, of course Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to mention a very few. Millennials are that group of people born approximately from the late 1970s or early 1980s. The earliest proposed birth-date for millennials is 1976 and the latest 2004.

A research conducted by the University of Michigan in 2013 adopted an “experience sampling” technique, a way of measuring how people think, feel, and behave in each waking moment of their daily lives. Its objective was to examine how Facebook use influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives. The results indicate that Facebook use predicates negative shifts on both of these variables over time. The results were surprisingly dramatic. Social psychologist and lead author of the study, Ethan Kross, says:

“On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicates the opposite – it undermines it.”

What excites the millennials is the response that they receive by sending a “Hi” to hundreds of friends at one time, sharing their locations with the entire universe, putting up weird status and awful display pictures that usually turned out to be cheap humour. To them, it feels good to receive a huge amount of responses and “likes.” That’s why they go back to the phone every now and then, often found absolutely disconnected from their surroundings while relentlessly checking the responses and keep counting the likes.

What makes it more unfortunate is the easy access of social media without age restriction. Furthermore, excessive exposure to social media with unlimited time and no monitoring from parents and elders. Millennials grew up with the YouTube, Facebook and Instagram world, the era filled with electronics and increasingly online and social networking. The consequence is the numb addiction of the social media that has been poisoning our youths by ruining their academic competence, career goals and objectives for life fulfillment. Sadly, they are likely to be the most distracted generation in human history.

Apart from the above hazards, there is likelihood of other major consequences that can be faced by millennials. They are stress, without a stress-coping mechanism, no-meaningful relationships and the numbing addictive effects of the cell phones. If you ask millennials about a true relationship or a sincere friendship, many of them would respond: “Many friends but most of the friends are superficial.” And certainly no good bonding with their own siblings or their families.

When they suffer from significant stress of their family, social and career lives, addictive millennials would not turn to parents or siblings, but to the gadgets. The result is failure to form deep, meaningful relationships.

There is nothing wrong with social media, so long as imbalance is maintained. The alternative can only be their not being present in the moment, always being distracted and without meaningful relationships. And the likelihood of inability to find real joy and true fulfilment.

Adas Faisal, "The latest drug of young millennials," Business Recorder. 2017-11-17.
Keywords: Social sciences , Social issues , Environmental issues , Social media , Drug addiction , Drug supply , Facebook , YouTube , Instagram

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