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7 new followers, 32 likes, 6 comments

4 friend requests, 12 notifications, 1 event invitation, 2 messages


28 new WhatsApp messages, 3 text messages, 1 LinkedIn request, 6 emails (gmail), 14 emails (work)

This is the world that we all live in nowadays. Our life is governed by how many Facebook friends and Instagram followers we have. The first thing most people do just before they go to sleep and just after they open their eyes is check their phone and numerous accounts.

We’ve grown to become a generation that lives vicariously through each other.

Going somewhere new? Check in on Facebook. Going on Holiday? Upload your beach snaps. Eating lunch? Take a picture for your Instagram (because obviously EVERYONE wants to know what’s on the menu today).

Thousands of videos have been made to encourage people to ditch the phone and open their eyes to the outside. It seems that people are often forgetting that there is a natural world beyond screens and headphones.

It’s strange; it is as if we each need social approval for our activities nowadays. We upload images to social media and wait for the likes to swoop in. In fact, we even await likes and comments from total strangers that we’ve never met.

What is the incessant need for popularity?

I remember when none of this existed; a time before technology took over. We’d play games, go outside and relax, verbally talk (rather than via text) and truly listen to each other. That is how we built friendships; we genuinely took an interest in each other’s lives and didn’t subconsciously think, ‘I need to like their status/tweet/picture’. We got together to see each other, not to upload a quick selfie to show everyone how active our social lives are.

I’m not being hypocritical. People who know me may read this and think, ‘but she’s on Facebook & Instagram’. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being a part of social evolution but, when people become more obsessed with their virtual presence than their real one, it’s a worrying time.

Social media can be used positively to communicate with people, especially abroad, arrange get-togethers, keep up with good news and watch happily as people accomplish great things. But, many people seem to look at other people’s lives and just feel jealousy. Why can’t I go there? Why can’t I own that? Why can’t I look like her?

It’s ridiculous! We’ve created an age of envy. Where we feel like we need to make people believe our life is splendid all the time. Reality check – it’s not.

Spending all that time in a realm that isn’t even tangible can have a massive impact on your real friends and family.

Stop taking for granted everyone sat around you and make the most of the time where they can be with you. You never want to be sat looking at your screen and miss your opportunity to spend precious time with someone who may become but a photograph and memory.

Ultimately, you have to come to a decision.

Do you want your life online or offline?


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Selena, a recently married 20-something from Manchester, England blogs for The Jewish Press Online under the title, "My Point of Jew." Selena also works for the Jewish Telegraph - Britain's only regional Jewish newspaper.