What I’m going to write about in this blogpost is nothing new. Nothing that you don’t already know about. And I would be a hypocrite criticizing the social media, so let me make a few things clear before hand :
- I am insanely addicted to social media.
- I want to quit. (Almost sounding like quitting smoking. Well, if cigarettes are deadly for the lungs, social media must be deadly for the brain)
- I am not ignoring the fact that some good comes out it : Like we can keep in touch with our long lost friends, who are not lost anymore and don’t care much about our happy social media lives, knowledge about new things, which not everyone is interested in though. What we mostly end up reading is: You won’t believe how this monkey ate 100 bananas in 2 minutes, Girl posts a picture of her cute puppy and it must be the cutest puppy you have seen in your life!.), and not to miss, we are constantly updated about events near us, which we tick going to, and then never end up going to in most cases.
- Why I know all these things? Well, been there done that, cribbed about it, cried, questioned my life, sanity, existence, purpose of life and wasted hours of precious sleep.
Now, getting back to the point. I’m writing this post because I want to lay out my thoughts clear about this social media issue, since I’m trying to quit this deadly addiction, and yeah I know blogging is kind of the same thing too, but my blog is very dear to me, and doesn’t get me addicted, so that’s okay.
So here’s the thing : I think social media when it started was still for a good cause. Sharing photos with people you can’t meet every day, getting back in touch with old friends, and being all nostalgic, feeling special with there were 10 likes on your photo, and so many people wishing you on your birthday.. and on and on. But almost 10 years after the new buzzing craze about facebook and twitter and the like, the social media scene is very different. It’s not the same world of sharing and caring and connections anymore. The face of social media has changed completely, and how!
Facebook cares so much about us, that it tells everyone that its your birthday and you should wish your ‘so called’ friend a happy birthday to make their day special (yeah as if that would help), it tells you what the weather is going to be like – stay dry dude, it’s gonna rain! Enjoy the sun babe, the clouds are clearing in your city! , it wants you to share something – from what you’re listening to, watching, reading, eating, drinking, thinking, breathing, pooping – everything! It really cares about your safety and keeps asking you to change your privacy settings – aww! Facebook is so sweet. It cares for us so much and doesn’t even charge money for it! Facebook is such an angel. And so is every other social media – Twitter lets us contact celebrities, though it’s a little mean, because it restricts us, and tells us exactly how much of our mind we need to speak. Instagram lets us live our dreams of becoming a photographer, writer, traveller, book expert, food expert, cooking expert, and any expert. The real experts out of which are very few. And yes, laugh as much as you want, I’m a wannabe writer too. But I’ll get over it like my fellow ones when I turn 50 and realize I didn’t really make it as one.
And oh, not to forget snapchat! It lets you be a dog, fish, cat, snake, angel, monster, ghost – you name it and you have it! Such a dream come true application isn’t it? No need to buy make up anymore.. They have it all! You can tell your friends about every little thing that you’re doing.. I’m laughing at myself as I write this, because that’s me I’m talking about. Just another social media addict trying to quit.
But the question that comes to my mind now is that – What is the purpose of all this? Isn’t it more like a vicious circle of social pressure, where beauty standards are met by snapchat filters, awesomeness of life by the countries you travel to, standard of living by the 5 star hotel check-ins in your profile, and peace of mind by the background view of your morning cup of coffee? And this is not the only question that comes to my mind :
- Aren’t we playing puppets in the hands of people who run these applications? They ask you to tell where you’re travelling, you tell it. They ask you to share your photos from this afternoon, you share it. They ask you to wish someone a happy birthday, you do it!
- The even bigger question to ask ourselves is – Aren’t we living under constant pressure to perform on the social media? We need approval from society about our standard of living, so we proudly boast about our pictures from our last vacation, our new job, our new relationship, our new expensive clothes..
- Doesn’t that create pressure on the less fortunate people who are on the social media? These days everyone is on Facebook. Everyone is connected to everyone. Everyone sees everyone’s lives. But what really happens is that we see only one side of the coin. We might not even think about what that person goes through to live the happy life they present on social media.
- In an online world where the richest and the poorest of people have social media profiles, the pressure builds up. A middle class person might not be able to afford the Euro trip, but when he sees his social media friends touring the world, the pressure in his mind builds up, he envies, questions his happiness, existence and peace of mind. In such a scenario, the whole concept of happiness changes.
- This also allows people to openly criticize other people. The worst off in this case are celebrities who are slut-shamed and laughed at for posting anything and everything. The envy and pressure comes out in this form, where celebrities are trolled for no good reason. People think that it is okay to throw words at these celebrities – as if they are the judges of their lives. That is exactly why these celebrities want to keep their lives more private. As soon as they come out in the open, people grab the opportunity to spew ugly words on them.
- The news that goes viral, does it really deserve to be news? Half of the times we are not even sure if it’s genuine news or just a catchy social media headline that has the power to ruin our day or night because that’s the first and last thing we do. Scrolling up and down, reading things that probably don’t even matter but have the power to damage our mood! For example , I once read the headline of an article which claimed that a son had murdered his mother and written something on the floor with her blood. My mind went numb for a minute, but when I actually read the whole article, there was no proof of the claim, only an assumption which was turned into a headline to catch attention! I mean, seriously.. These kind of things really can damage your day and brain.
- And the final and the most basic question is – what social media makes us do, do we really want to do it? Or do we do all those things because we want to be socially accepted? Do we really want to go out on that Saturday night and be a part of the group check-in when we’d rather sleep in? Do we really have the money to afford the trip we’re planning? Are we really enjoying the food we’re eating after uploading the beautiful filtered picture? Are we really happy on that trek or we’re tired as hell and wished we’d never taken this up? Do we really care about all those issues that we support on social media? What do we really genuinely care about?
Ps. I mean no offense to anybody. This is a personal view from what I’m observed and discussed with people. If you are happy with your social media life, lucky you! If not, this should get you thinking like it gets me thinking, and together we can get over this lie that social media is, and strive for better and more fruitful human lives 🙂