Would We Be Better Off without Social Media? [VIDEO]

How much time do you spend using social media services like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Probably way too much. We’ve become addicted to social media, checking our Facebook News Feed the moment we open our eyes in the morning, sending Instagram a bite of our food before our mouths, and sending messages during life’s most intimate moments. We waste huge parts of our lives obsessing over being connected, yet by the end of the day we might not be better people for it. International street artist ABOVE reminds us that life doesn’t have to be this way.

ABOVE’s work often comments on social mores often taken for granted as the only way of living. In #SocialMedia, he highlights the hyper fast pace of life today where we encounter so much information we hardly have time to process it. “Information is exchanged so rapidly that it makes us feel inadequate and drains our attention span,” he wrote on his website.

ABOVE himself does not use social media (outside of Vimeo, where he shares videos of his street art), and for this reason he sees himself as an unbiased judge on the effects of social media:

People look at me like I’m from another planet when I tell them I don’t have social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. In the eyes of social media I’m severely outdated, lost and not ‘connected.’

Not partaking in the aforementioned social media makes me an outsider looking in on how hyper frequent society uses its sacred social media. I can’t help but observe the people around me who appear to be consumed and addicted to trying to keep up to speed on their social media pages.”

Over a five-day period during Copenhagen’s GALORE festival, ABOVE recorded himself painting a series of murals commenting on the negative effects of social media. The video, found above, is a time-lapse compilation of over 9,000 photos of him painting. “Enjoy and try to keep up,” ABOVE writes.

Ironically, this video has been shared and seen on social media by people around the world. Though social media fuels the virality of this video, will this video be enough to fuel a change in the pace of social media? Probably not, but I at least hope it will make us stop and consider how much time we put into social media. If only we focused that much energy on our work and our relationships, we could find more happiness in life.

Enjoy these photos of ABOVE’s murals and think about how cutting back on social media could improve your quality of life.

Quick hurry faster social media culture

stay connected 24/7

talk but don't actually say anything

add another friend

negative hashtags

check your facebook while having sex

Do you think you let social media intrude on your life? What would you do without your favorite social networks? Share with us in the comments section!

Sookie Tex
I think social media for the most part enriches society Some may be addicted but I think they are a small %.
Hansjörg Leichsenring
Intersting question. I never look back to ancient times if things are getting better or worse since. We have to live with todays live. Cheers from Germany. Hansjörg
Brad Knutson
That's an interesting question. I personally think what makes social media fun is gamification. Everyone wants to have more friends, more likes, more shares, etc., etc. This gets amplified in the professional space even more so. I personally enjoy social media, but I try not to burn myself out. I have a very addictive personality and in the past 15 years obsessions have come and gone (baseball cards, stamp collecting, Madden '04, MMORPGs, etc) - but I think my fascination with social media will stick around. It is part of my job after all.
Valerie Bloomberg
I'm burnt out on social media and making some changes in my life so I do not have to spend as much time online.
John Rodrigues
It is a chance to be personally expressive. People are beginning to develop social awareness and a voice. There will likely be more questions of how to cope where surveillance meets privacy. Tech often implies scientific advances and this is a way to attempt to keep pace with the increase in information. In order to be capable of action, the system has to become compatible with the appropriate sets of rules, of which there are many, so some mechanism for self-organization would be nice.
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