Social Media

Social media will be the death of our generation. With countless pings, dings, buzzes, pop-ups and hundreds upon hundreds of phone unlocking noises that come as a result of its worldwide domination, social media rules over our lives, whether we realise it or not. And the worst part is, there’s very little we can do about it.

Let’s start off this post with a case study — a rather loose one admittedly, but a case study all the same. Twitter is one of the most popular social networks on the planet, with over a billion users signed up to the website. Thousands of tweets are sent each and every minute, ranging from bite-sized Monday morning rants to inspirational quotes; from minimally-worded recipes to RIP messages; from humour to sadness. This dense network of users does, indeed, bring the world closer, allowing everyone to have not only a voice, but a platform from which they can use it. But as I’m sure you know, Twitter (like everything) has its dark side — for once, what your parents say about the Internet is actually correct.
Being a multimedia platform (meaning that people can express themselves through the freedom of words, images and videos), Twitter has played a part in creating a generation who rarely struggle to voice their opinions, thoughts, hopes and dreams online. Equally, it’s never been easier for this same generation to be damaged by multimedia content, particularly images and video content, from which they have little protection. How many times have you logged into Twitter, or Instogram, or Facebook, or your social media service of choice, and seen pictures of unnaturally thin models wearing clothes with price tags which are more than your parents’ average combined salary — excluding taxes? Exactly — they’re everywhere, and so in many ways, we have desensitised ourselves to it all; it’s just the way things are on the Internet: move on. Think, though: this isn’t normal. This isn’t natural, or human, or just. Companies (although there are some individuals who act similarly) are actively promoting pictures of, frankly, very ill people, saying that the way they look and live is desirable. It’s not.

But that is just one example of how social media is irreparably damaging us. Look at it like this: how many times do you post pictures, words or videos of happy, funny or positive moments in your life online? On the whole, we tend to post more about the happy times in our lives, as opposed to the more negative moments. Of course, there are a group of people who realise that this just isn’t a true representation of life, and post equally about the good and bad times, and that’s all well and good. Overall, on social media, people get the impression that their friends, their family and their favourite celebrities are leading lives of joy, smiles and fun-filled times, when that just isn’t true in 99.9% of cases. All too quickly, this leads people into a spiral of self-consciousness, and in some cases, causes people to show early signs of depression. Suddenly, everyone is of the belief that their life is worse, less significant and less social than those of the people surrounding them, when in real life, this is rarely true. And honestly, so what if it is? You are you, online and offline, and that is enough.

Social media is a dangerous, dangerous place, made all the more scary by the fact that we don’t always realise what it’s doing to us. Please, just stay safe online, and I’m not just talking about all the normal safety precautions, like keeping your profile private. I’m talking about the other stuff: thinking about the content that you’re seeing before you on social media, and what it really is; thinking about the consequences that the content you can see and the content that you’re sharing may have on not only others around you but yourself too; don’t allow your positively-inclined Facebook-posting friends to inadvertently convince you that you’re leading a substantial, insignificant life — because you’re not.

I don’t believe in begging for likes, comments or shares from my readers: each and every one of you read this by choice, and therefore you react to it as you wish. Just this once, however, I will break that resolve to say this:
* Dramatic Speech follows *
`Please, guys. If you at all agree with what I’ve said here, do consider sharing this post on social media (ironic, I know). This message is so important to me, and yet is not spread widely enough. Young people across the globe are experiencing the negative impacts of social media on their lives each and every day, but that doesn’t have to be so. Raising awareness of this issue can bring an end to it: please, be a part of that.”‘
* Dramatic Speech over *

L XX

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12 thoughts on “Social Media

  1. (help me, I’m not supposed to be on WordPress but this really caught my eye)
    I do agree that social media is taking over our lives. I, personally, don’t use Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or whatever. I only go on Youtube and play games (and of course talk to friends, mostly irl friends) but that’s not the point shush, self. What I want to say is that imagine what our future’s gonna be if this is our present. Sure, we’re all probably thinking differently. I can’t think of anything really specific except for, “I’m sorry, future.”
    Why am I sorry for the future? Should I feel sorry? I predict that our future generation will just be on Social Medias a lot. Either that, or we’ll slowly be backing away from them (hey, it’s possible, I think..)
    I don’t really know what I’m saying anymore so I’m just gonna stop here. I really agree very much with this post, though. (And sorry if my comment is all over the place!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment! You’re very, scarily right: our future looks, frankly, about as antisocial as antisocial can be. Of course, the Internet will bring us closer, but then it will also drag us apart in face-to-face communication. There’s a great painting by Banksy which is of a man and a woman embracing, but they’re not looking at each other: they’re looking at their phones. I think that’s really quite meaningful X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem! Of course, we’ll be getting closer to people online, however farther from people in the real world at the same time, and what I do is just try and balance it out: spend time on the Internet, but also time with the people I’m close to in real life. I’m gonna see if I can find that painting, it sounds very meaningful and relates to today’s society. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed it does: I’m afreacd I can’t remember it’s name, but it’s one of his more famous ones, so his name plus a couple of words to do with the painting should leave you with very little trouble in finding it online 🙂 X

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree…social media IS taking over our lives. It was bad enough when television and newspapers glorified skinny bodies but now social media? It really is everywhere. No wonder we have so many affected by eating disorders.

    Liked by 1 person

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