What is Social Media Making of Us as People?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat- these are the widely recognized and most common social media platforms. It is also a very common place for people putting up facades of being happy when they are clearly not. Posting photographs, videos and statuses as if there is nobody happier than you is not just having an impact on you but also people around you. You may ask then, what are the effects of getting addicted to social media?

First of all, anything which gets connected with addiction has obvious disadvantages on both the person exposed to the responsible source as well as people related to him/her.
The effects of social media addiction can pan across three distinct fronts, namely, personal, professional and familial. Personally, you start looking at yourself as superior and aim to raise yourself even further with your posts. You lose touch with the reality. When you live on social media, you don’t live for yourself but for others. Your Instagram posts are not for your memories but for others to see how much you are enjoying yourself, and this external locus of appreciation can cause serious problems in your personality and lifestyle. Sidelining your true well-being, you invest yourself in making people believe that your life is perfect in that small little sugar-coated, filter enabled picture. You try to portray the best of yourself and you never showcase your true self – the person who you actually are.

Even if you might be an introvert, you have to be on social media because this has become a proof of existence. You don’t post because you want to inspire somebody to aim for better but because you want to make them jealous about something that they might not have. Not everybody is photogenic or professionally trained in photography. This way people lose out on a lot of relationships even without realising it because it builds up an inauthentic image of who you are, and people consequently either find it hard to accept your social media image, or they deem you unapproachable. Further, since one’s social circle is strung together by this media platform, any sort of controversy online could lead to people abandoning friendships altogether, leaving the concerned individual vulnerable and without social support.

Professionally too, social media has negative repercussions. You aren’t able to concentrate on your work or your meetings and your performance suffers. The drastically drifting  attention span leads to the prevalence of disinterest in work, which elevates into alienation from fellow colleagues and eventually a fall in abilities that may even heighten the possibility of losing one’s job.

Significantly, familial bonds suffer at the hands of social media greatly, you don’t have time to concentrate on your family, whenever we sit amongst them, it’s always about being on the phones. While this real distance creeps in within relationships, socially we remain intent to portray feelings of love, posting amply in various platforms. With increased reliance on such platforms for validation, friendships go downhill at the hands of jealousy- when we post with one friend, the other gets jealous and then you do a post with the other friend and the first one gets angry, basically you spend the rest of your life trying to balance their posts out and you don’t really spend any real time with them.

The so-called ‘influencers’ spend so much time blogging that our lives literally start depending on their tried and tested stuff and we stop experiencing new things. When we come under their influence we start seeing the world through camera lens and stop using our vision. We miss out on so many magnificent things that the world has to offer and I believe sooner or later we are going to regret this.

What should we focus on? Raw, real beauty, the beauty that comes from within and which is not affected by your age is your elegance and who you really are as a person. People will never talk about how physically attractive or how powerful you were. People will always talk about your generosity or the lack of it. It is not our beauty, our youth, our physical desirability that we are going to take to our grave, it is the character that we have created that we must focus on.

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