I have been meaning to write a post about Social Media and its’ effects on people today… an extensive one if you will that explores the psychological effects and more (might go in depth on other posts sometime if I do have more thoughts).
Yes, I am a little behind this week with Blogging101… so, here is my Day Nine task this post by Violett really succinctly expressed my general thoughts on Social Media and people today in her blog post, “Why to “Unfriend” Social Media”. Here are my thoughts:
Social Media, whether you admit or not is easy to get addicted to. What are some of the obvious negative effects it has caused? Well… to name a FEW…
1. Sharing Everything
Social Media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or such… has really drilled young minds to share EVERYTHING. Instead of enjoying the moment, people are more focused on documenting these moments via social media. Sure, a picture or two is a reasonable way to capture a moment for momento. However, whether it is a concert or a simple hang out with friends, some (most young) people are just too caught up in snapchatting (do not even get me started on snapchat), taking photos, videos etc. If a selfie was not up to par, one has to take MORE photos… and where has the time gone… I swear, I have been out with friends who spend 60% of their time on their phones, do people even know how to socialize anymore? And it does not end there; you need to EDIT these photos with filters and more… which brings me to the next point…
2. Cultivating Perfection
As Vio said, “Fakebook”. Social Media has cultivated a false sense of perfection that often escalates into Trends. Whether it is thigh gaps or relationship goals… it unconsciously brings out competitiveness in people to show that your life is better. It seems social media is an airbrushed version of people’s life, how many people share the bad and embarrassing moments anymore (there used to be a time that we would)? For me, it even causes depression in viewers who start to compare their lives and feel lowly to them. Life shouldn’t be about pursuing other people’s goals and dreams (travels, designer bags etc.), but living it on your goals and dreams, and social media tends to blur that line.
When you post a photo or status update, how many times do you check it to see how many likes or such it gets? I’m not denying it, I have been a victim of this need of validation. In a way, it seems like we crave acceptance and attention more than ever with this added feature. On a darker note, when you do not get the number of likes or such you expected, you might start wondering why is that so? Why is a picture of that dog getting more likes than mine? Is this even constructive to us? Unless you’re a celebrity or public figure, I do not see how it is.
“Social Media got ironic because it’s not even social anymore.” I strongly agree with Vio. Sure, you meet a friends’ friend one day, and the next day you both are Facebook friends. Maybe it’s just to make a social connection, maybe it’s just so that you can tag them in a picture. However, with the overwhelming amount of friends you have on your news feed, it is hard to keep track with your true friends. Besides, sure, social media has created a nice way for you to stay up to date with your friends’ lives… but hasn’t it significantly lessened their need to personally share anything with you anymore? Sure, you might know what they are up to, like or comment on a few of their statuses and all, but you two are not actually socializing or making the effort to keep up with each other a decent conversation anymore… is that what friends are?
5. News Feed
That brings me to my last point – News Feed. By sharing and connecting on social media, lives have almost become news – Facebook literally calls it “News Feed”. A photo, an update, an emotion… it is all just news, a heat in the moment. Let’s not forget the other friend’s friends you added who are able to read your updates… competitiveness and to judge a book by its cover often brings out the worst of gossipers. Even when Facebook was relatively new (3 years since its debut), I hear people gossiping about people they barely know… and their gossip source? Yes, Social Media. Surely the internet will have opened you to more beneficial content to discuss about?
I am not saying that we should completely cut off social media from our lives. Sure, it depressed the hell out of me when I was at my lowest… comparing myself other people… I was even on the verge of deactivating my Facebook account but it is also where my uni’s society updates members; and I realized that I have only been able to keep with 60% of my close friends (back home, as I’m studying overseas), which is sad and brings about point 4.
Still, Social Media has its advantages if used in moderation. I have found it a great way to share and keep memories that you can reminiscent on with friends. However, as much as it is great to have a memento to hold on to, never forget the live in the present, put down the smartphone and photo editing. Use it to keep up with friends that matter and not be caught up getting green-eyed over other people’s lives, share your thoughts and even connect and make new friends that socialize beyond the screen. Don’t get sucked into the black hole of stalking or drooling at awe in other people’s lives, live yours and know that – Social Media is not a necessity, you can survive without it. Take your time to smell the roses, don’t post a status update about it and take less selfies.
How has social media impact your social life and personality? Agree or disagree with me, share your point of view and experiences!
Live Beyond the Screen,
Might be sharing my thoughts on another social media consequence: SELFIES.