In 2005, a software design engineer, working at Microsoft invented a web-design technique that would go on to change our lives forever. The invention is called ‘’Infinite Scrolling’’, and the person who invented it goes by the name Hugh E. Williams. In simple words, infinite scroll is a web-design technique that loads content continuously as a user scrolls down. Since its inception many websites adopted the technique, and soon social media sites followed suit. Social sites such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and more recently Instagram have adopted this technique. The technique was developed with the purpose to engage the user to a particular website he/she is scrolling. Let us look into a scenario when infinite scrolling was not present- a user would scroll through the web page, and at one point the content of the page would come to an end, and the user would exit the website. Now, in a scenario with infinite scrolling present, a user scrolls through a webpage (feed/newsfeed), and the page never ends and as a result the amount of time spent on the website by a user increases drastically.
In the past 5 years many individuals have confessed that they are ‘’addicted’’ to social media, and majority of this is due to infinity scrolling. Individuals have stated that most of the time they are scrolling through the newsfeed without a purpose, and that they cannot stop scrolling. The reason behind why they cannot stop scrolling is because of continuous loading of content in the newsfeed, this situation is like, an individual walking on a road which has no end, thus the individual keeps on walking. But back in 2005 when Williams was developing infinite scroll his intentions were very much different, the technique was developed so that a user once done reading/viewing a content does not have to go to the homepage to select another content, rather the contents will be available right below one another, and it will continuously keep on loading new content. Then, how did a technique that was developed to benefit us, today, has become one of our biggest threat?
The answer is simple, we are losing control over ourselves, and are being controlled by machines. We are relying on virtual assistants to guide us on the road, we believe what an online encyclopedia says but not what our teachers say, if an individual is explaining a theory to us face to face, we don’t pay attention, if the same person is explaining the same theory on Youtube, we are paying attention, and believing it. We think we are controlling the cellphone in our palms, but in reality it is absolutely the opposite. An obsession which has now become an addiction. But we are not addicted to our cell phones, we are addicted to the void it has created for us. We are losing patience, drastically, we are constantly comparing our lives to others on social media, not knowing that those people we are getting jealous of are just pretending, pretending to be happy, pretending to love their jobs, pretending to be satisfied, but in reality those people are in a worse situation than we are in. One thing social media has taught us, is to lie to ourselves, taking a selfie with a smile on our face does not equate to happiness. In a recent study it was revealed that people who take the most number of selfies are also the most boring. We have learnt the art of chatting, and slowly forgetting how to talk, let alone how to speak. We are forgetting basic human communication skills, due to the unrelenting urge to look into our phones every now and then. It is definitely a drug, but this drug works in a different way too. The machine also controls our appearance. In this ‘’modern era’’ cell phone companies are developing face filters which makes a user’s skin tone appear fairer and fairer. Going on to prove our society’s unhealthy obsession with fair skin. The pressure to look a certain way, online and offline, is affecting individuals mentally, and giving rise to social anxiety, or perhaps we should call it online anxiety because most of the anxiety is coming from online. The term internet celebrity or influencer is hard to explain, it is even harder to explain what they are influencing, and what do they stand for. The internet is ruthless too, reports say numerous individuals are victims of cyberbullying, among which most of them go on to commit suicide.

From finding love online to buying missiles, it definitely has made our lives easy, but it has also created a void, but perhaps this void is man made. The blame is upon us that we could not use the machine in the right way. Infinity scroll is not the problem, it is just a spoke in the wheel, the problem is we lost control, and let the machine control us. We have become addicts, and we hope there is a rehab for this in near future, because we are going to need it. With every passing day we are falling deep into the infinity, or maybe we already have.