In an ever changing world where we isolate ourselves, social media has taken a place in our minds that is fed by insecurities and a reluctance to face reality. Here’s why you should treat it like an addiction in life and how to find a better balance between the metaverse and reality.
Originally, social media was intended as a tool for communication and sharing updates with close friends, akin to catching up with your inner circle but with the convenience of the internet. In its early days, people didn't have hundreds or thousands of followers, but instead stuck to their original group of friends, family, and coworkers. It was a delightful way to keep those closest to you in the loop and share stories within a limited, trusted circle.
Over time, social media platforms introduced features such as likes, comments, and reactions, allowing users to receive instant feedback on their posts, often in the form of positive validation. This feedback can trigger a rush of adrenaline, which can become addictive. As a result, users may become fixated on seeking validation by consistently posting the happiest pictures, showcasing the nicest things, and depicting the most beautiful moments. From an external perspective, their lives may seem flawless, with no room for negativity.
It's easy to get caught up in the habit of sharing every aspect of our lives on social media - from pictures of our meals, to funny videos of our pets, to our latest purchases. I remember a time when I used to pull out my phone before every meal, eagerly anticipating the number of likes my posts would receive. I would feel disappointed if I missed a perfect moment to capture a photo or video to share online. These signs, however, were clear indicators of an impending addiction to social media. Despite this realization, many of us continue to compulsively post and share on these platforms.
However, life has a way of throwing unexpected challenges our way. A genuine, unpleasant event may occur, leaving us with a choice to make. Do we maintain our meticulously crafted facade on social media? Or do we dare to share some real, authentic moments? Alternatively, perhaps we choose to take a break from social media altogether, even if only temporarily. Sadly, I've noticed that all too often, people opt for the first choice. They continue to take carefully posed photos for the sake of their social media presence, faking smiles and pretending that everything is flawless, despite the reality of their situation.
Let's pause for a moment and reflect on the message we're sending to young people worldwide. On social media, it often seems like everyone else's life is picture-perfect, while ours falls short. We feel the pressure to conform, to receive likes and comments, and to maintain a curated image. We see only the meticulously crafted facade that others present, and we fear being left out. It's no wonder that rates of depression and anxiety are skyrocketing. So many people are donning masks and facades in order to fit in, contributing to this troubling trend.
So, what remains when you strip away the facade of social media? You're left with fabricated images and meticulously crafted photos of a reality that doesn't actually exist, while authentic stories and genuine character traits are muted, leaving us feeling more disconnected from each other than ever before. It's ironic that something called "social" media can actually hinder our true social connections.
It's worth taking a moment to reflect on your own use of social media. Perhaps it's time to take a break, go silent for a while, and uninstall those apps. See if you notice a difference in your life. Meanwhile, make an effort to reconnect with your loved ones in the real world. Give them a call, arrange a meet-up, and share precious moments without feeling the need to post about them online. Let's rediscover the joy of genuine human connections, untethered from the artificial world of social media.
Do I imply that you must completely quit using social media? Absolutely not. However, I would encourage you to take a closer look at what you share and why. If you do choose to share, ensure that it is for the right reasons. Instead of merely presenting a flawless facade, consider sharing genuine moments. Embrace your uniqueness, share things that are out of the ordinary. By doing so, you consciously make an effort to reveal your true self.
Furthermore, remember the "why" behind your sharing. Don't chase after likes. Instead, prioritize sharing moments and stories with your loved ones, as those memories will hold more value to you than a million likes. Shift your focus from seeking external validation to fostering meaningful connections with those who truly matter to you.