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Experiments are usually reserved for those with much greater intellects than mine. Hawking, Einstein, my parents, that bloke that discovered Penicillin, the list goes on. However, not being remotely good at something never stopped me. Especially if it concerns modern social life…

The other day I stumbled across a video about ‘Millennials’ *cue shit storm*. I was on Facebook, partaking in that lazy phone scroll that everyone seems to view as a sensible and thought-provoking use of time when I happened upon an interview of Simon Sinek. Sinek, a motivational speaker and marketing consultant, rattled off a monologue which, 3 months ago, would have had me on the defensive, claiming his opinions to be the typical hypocritical bollocks of the previous generations. However, after months of, essentially, being an unemployed postgrad, sat in the wasteland between a degree and a career, his words were a light bulb moment for me. Sinek was discussing the modern enigma of ‘Millennials’.

The aforementioned term, which Sinek so wisely expanded upon, is widely attested to the generation born in the late eighties right up until the late nineties. In short, it is afforded to those who sit in that gap opened up by technology and education, by advances in social understanding that have created an overwhelmingly negative chasm in modern day society. I know right? This article has got really deep. Back to Sinek. His explanation of the ‘Millennial’ phenomenon touches on many subjects, employment, attitude, work, relationships. Most importantly, and relevantly, he alludes to the contemporary glue that has roped all of these aspects together: Social media.

I wouldn’t like to regurgitate all of Sinek’s views but I would really implore anyone and everyone to watch his interview (below), it is truly an eye-opening and concise amalgamation of the downfall of our generation, why we really are letting everything slide.

Facebook is a focal point to summarise Sinek’s ideas on social media. We all love Facebook, in fact, let’s be honest, apart from our parents, many of us ‘millennials’ could see the site as the only constant in our lives for the last decade or so. Just think about it. How much of your time has been made up by Zuckerberg’s creation since you had? I don’t think I could (bar two people) name anyone who has outlasted my relationship with that site and in essence that is a fucking sorry state of affairs. In fact, it’s appalling.

I live in an age of unbelievable technological advances. Of scientific discoveries. I live in an age where I am likely to live longer, know more, travel further, have access to more information and to meet more people, then anyone who has lived before me. Yet, I, we, us, the ‘Millennials’, are falling into a pit of self-deprecation. We live in a willowing widespread depression, thrashing about in an inability to reach our potential heights. Social Media can’t be blamed for all of this, certainly not but it all starts with the little bastards and Sinek’s views laid this out for me in such fantastic fashion that I think I actually experienced a moment of eureka, you know, if there is room for that in my social media obsessed mind.

Ahh modern life, just a group of people social networking at cafe. Source: Channel-Tools.co.uk

Because that’s what I am, obsessed. Addicted would be a better word. Our generation won’t be riddled with the issues of drugs, alcohol, the strains of physical abuse. No. Our minds will melt under the thrall of social media addiction, the effects of which are more damaging than we could imagine.

I could explain why but I thought I might do something different. I’m going to show you.

It is 17:23 on the nineteenth of January 2017. Tomorrow Donald Trump, US president-elect, billionaire businessmen and avid Twitter user, will take part in his inauguration. By then I will have shut myself off from all forms of social media. I have deleted Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Tinder from my phone and logged off all respective sites on my laptop.

I will see how my mind responds to such a sudden and drastic cold turkey event, shutting myself away from the ‘Millennials’ heroin, social media. Hopefully, I can see what it really is doing to me over the next few weeks.

19/01/2017, 18:00

All apps are off my phone. I’ve logged off every social media site on my laptop. Already sweating a bit. Is that because I’m suddenly aware that I’m doing this or the fact that I have a filthy cold? Both? Probably.

Just realised the only romantic interests I had probably died with that Tinder app. How sad is that?

21/01/2019, 12:24

Forgot to upload this. Cold worse – maybe I am actually going through a physical cold turkey, a bodily reaction to my lack of social media intake…? Right now I feel that could be a real concern.

I’ve removed my phone from my pocket and just stared at it at least fourteen times every hour… ok that was a wild guess but you get the picture. The upshot is that I’ve actually been able to read a book for a solid amount of time without the urge to stare, unblinking at a barrage of shit on my timeline. I’ve also noted that the flow of sensationalised news reaching me has reduced. Radio 5 doesn’t seem to harp on about phony Trump claims, whether Obama and Biden are goals or express concerns over the next words to exit Kim Kardashian’s mouth. It’s almost as if social media gives people a platform to make factless, pointless news stories from anything whilst radio stations and newspapers, you know, report the truth. Hmmm…

More updates to come.

@DominicMoffitt1