Don’t make social media your only friend

Look up! That’s all I can say. I did a little experiment the other day at noon, at the prime hour that students changed classes and went to get lunch.

Out of 50 students passing by Moody, 36 of them were looking down at their phones, not knowing what was going on around them.

As I sat in a chair outside near Starbucks, I noticed a guy on his hover board doing something on his phone. How much more electronic can one really get?

I then looked at the door leading into Starbucks, where I saw an elderly woman slowly making her way to the door as a student bolted past her. Thinking he was going to hold the door open for her, she looked down at her purse for a second, but was forced to look up when she felt the door closing on her. The student was so engaged on his phone that he was oblivious to the situation.

I get it, sometimes there are important things that require our attention to look down for a second, but if you engulf your life in those things you will be missing out on so much more. Life is a beautiful thing, and it is up to us to appreciate each and every moment of it.

Many of us feel lonely and sad because we have allowed social media to become our life, our companion. We constantly go about wanting to be liked on Facebook or Instagram. It is as if we believe it is the key to true happiness. But at the end of day, does it really make us happy? For myself, I know it does not. I used to think, ‘Oh, just if I could look like her I would be happy. If I could just have that, people would think I’m cool.’ I fell into the trap of believing that happiness came from a click of a button, but I quickly realized that it was those right in front of me, those that I could physically see and talk to, that brought me true happiness and joy.

Next time you are in a crowd and feel afraid, try what I did. Instead of looking down at your phone to make you feel accepted, look up and find someone to talk to or just look at beauty of what is around you. What you may think will be an awkward situation could turn out to be something so much more and change your life forever.

The best way to feel accepted and loved is to make those real connections, not just have an abundance of Facebook friends or social media followers. Many spend their lives behind a screen sharing and posting events in their lives and taking selfies in an attempt to become accepted.

Life goes by quicker than we realize. There are opportunities and choices that are presented to us each and every day, but it is up to us if we want to take a chance at life or just hide behind a screen.

I chose to look up and, because of it, I will never be the same.

Meghan Mitchell is a junior journalism major from Sneville, Ga. She is a sports writer for the Lariat.