“In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Much like Alice tumbling down to Wonderland through the rabbit hole, we as humans tend to follow our whims, especially when bored and scrolling through social media. We could quote Alice once again:
“’Curiouser and Curiouser!’ cried Alice.”
Curiosity in humans coupled with boredom is a powerful motivation to get lost on social media. You’ll be sitting there on social media and you see a cat video that catches your attention. Before you know it, you’ve watched 50 videos and have gone so far away from the topic of the original video that you aren’t exactly sure how you ended up watching Irish people eating Canadian food or flash mob dances.
You just went down the rabbit hole of social media.
This isn’t an uncommon phenomenon in the least. We’ve all ended up on social media scrolling and had our attention is taken from one thing to another and another. An hour later, you’ve gone through Facebook to an article on Buzzfeed to a Wikipedia article and over to Youtube. Due to social media’s influence, “Microsoft found that overall attention spans dropped four seconds over the last ten years from twelve to eight” (Prasse, 2016).
Our limited attention spans mean we are more likely to switch apps and follow our “curiosity” from one thing to another. “You’re likely to lose track of how long you’ve been doing it. You’re probably also going to forget- at least temporarily- what else you should be doing” (CHADD, 2019). Together with our limited attention spans, our curiosity, and the draw of social media in our lives, we will continue to spend copious amounts of time going down “the rabbit hole”.
Have you gone down a rabbit hole? What happened? Did you end up learning something new or just enjoying a laugh?
For me, the rabbit hole will always draw me in late at night when I should be going to bed but instead, I’m watching Safiya Nygard trying to find clothes blindfolded or Irish people eating some weird food or a music video of a song I love. Luckily, like all rabbit holes and adventures in Wonderland, eventually, we wake up and re-enter the real world.
Prasse, L. (2016, February 28). Beware of the Social Media Rabbit Hole [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://medium.com/lab-work/beware-of-the-social-media-rabbit-hole-847b1b9642b1.
CHADD. (2019, January 31). Down the Rabbit Hole: The Internet, Social Media, and ADHD [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://chadd.org/adhd-weekly/down-the-rabbit-hole-the-internet-social-media-and-adhd/
Singh, N. (2019, October 10). Facebook, Instagram like ‘weird rabbit holes’ – social media anxiety is real & here to stay [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://theprint.in/features/facebook-instagram-weird-rabbit-holes-social-media-anxiety-here-to-stay/303149/
Lewis, C. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Retrieved from https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rgs/alice-I.html