The impact social media has on our lives!
Have you ever been in a relationship that has lasted longer than a year, without fights, compromises or any strings attached? Well, I have been in one! Which takes away most of my time and my mom certainly disapproves of it like millions of other things. If you are wondering who my partner is, then here is your answer! MY PHONE. So far my relationship with my phone is one of the most uncomplicated things of my life. I’m sure I am not just talking for myself here. I sometimes feel phones are like drugs and going to a rehab is the ultimate solution. If I was addicted to my phone before, let’s say it has become my survival kit during this lockdown. We have become inseparable. What’s so interesting about it? I can hear you thinking about it…. SOCIAL MEDIA! Sorry no prizes for correct guesses!
When I look back and analyze about how social media impact lives, I felt it has its own set of merits and demerits in terms of the type of content it provides us each day, how they act as a platform to display talents, help to build a network and not just this, they are the very same place where trolls, hate comments and a lot of unverified, false information are posted. The things seen and said here affect a person’s mental health in unimaginable ways. Taking a look at each one of these-
How powerful is social media?
The amount of content we come across every time we scroll through social media is immense. Information ranging from international to regional sports and movies, quotes, memes, social life of celebrities, videos posted by random people across the globe, politics, daily news and I can go on listing the amount of content that is available for everyone to see.
People are now banking on social media to get most of the relevant news, this has become an one stop solution for all our queries. A single tap on your phone screen and it fetches you everything you are looking for. Nothing can ever be compared to the reach social media has, small startups to large scale businesses rely on social media to share updates, engage their audience and expand their visibility. For people looking to extend their connections, social media comes in handy, this is a place where you can meet a lot of like minded people and expand your network. The type of content or the information we come across here has the potential to influence our thoughts. I’d be lying if I said I get most of the current news from newspapers and television and not from social media!
Not just in terms of the easy accessibility, its usefulness in businesses and networking, social media has even captured the attention of teenagers who mainly use this to engage with people, share stories, pictures and browse information. Social media can be very addictive and practically lures in people and if its usage isn’t limited it might lead to deteriorating mental health conditions. This is the age when curiosity takes over self-control so limiting the time spent on social media and filtering the type of content that can be accessed is of prime importance!
Considering the benefits and the backlashes it has we can see how powerful social media is and if it isn’t used in the right manner it can cause a lot of potential damage.
Platform to display talents-
If you have got it, you flaunt it right! Many people use social media as a stage to express their talent. Saying ‘express’ will be an understatement because many have actually built their career out of social media. There are many forums where you can post pictures of your artwork, dance moves, songs and various other creative stuff. This might sound like it isn’t a great deal but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Building a network requires consistency in terms of the work done, dedication and most importantly patience. It’s okay for beginners to be disheartened if they don’t get the support they had been hoping for, every good thing will take its own time.
I have come across a lot of content on social media which is terrific and at the same time I also see a lot of terrible content. No offence to anyone! There is a lot of false information doing rounds and sometimes it only takes a minute to judge a person! We are quick to trust this information without verifying the legitimacy of it. Very often people use this platform to spread allegations and garner support within a short span of time and several others follow suit without any substantial evidence. This can potentially ruin a person’s career or be a setback in her/his life. Sometimes a lot of videos which don’t make sense get more likes and views than quality ones and the number of followers seem to have become the criteria for how exciting or useful the content is, this discourages many people from doing their great work. The spotlight is cast especially on celebrities and their lifestyle while the disastrous happenings around the world get sidelined. All this has made me question the standard of social media which we so blindly trust!
The trolls and negativity-
Constructive criticism is something which everyone needs as there is always room for improvement and these comments might help you get a step further. These shouldn’t be confused with trolls and abusive comments. Whatever work you display on social media, it’s definitely going to have a community of people who try to put you down with their unsolicited comments. Even if we feel satisfied with our work, any negative comment affects us to an extent and makes us question our work. Sometimes these comments are totally irrelevant and have nothing to do with the work displayed. One should also be thick-skinned to ignore all the negativity spewed by anonymous people. Not taking any of this to your head is a difficult task and takes time but can be mastered eventually.
Social media confused with reality?
Can we all agree to the fact that we choose to show off the best parts of our lives on social media, stalk celebrities and wished our life was as cool as theirs, been jealous of somebody’s lifestyle, tried to imitate a person, pretend to be good at something, faked a lot of emotions! I, for one, have done many like this.
Let’s consider a scenario here: How many of you have judged a person you have never seen before just based on their social media profiles? Let’s be honest to ourselves and answer that question. Then we meet that person in real life and find out they are nothing like what we imagined. This proves how social media and reality are different from each other.
Everyone has their own understanding of what social media is and this changes over time. I use social media regularly, share stories, post pictures and at times express my opinions. It’s really fun and exciting but there was a time when I thought this was the entire reality and before I shared anything I used to think at least a hundred times and consulted dozens of people .
It’s easy to get carried away by all these in the beginning but it is necessary to understand social media isn’t reality. Reality offers us much more than what social media ever can!
Take a dig at your self-esteem?!
Not fitting into the “ideal” category set by society leaves us feeling inadequate. These categories range from a person’s looks, skin color, fitness, height, the way they dress and innumerable such things. It’s very common to compare ourselves to someone who seems “perfect” and feel depressed and look for that one factor we lack. This might affect our confidence and self-esteem which affects our mental health significantly.
However, in the recent past, self love, embracing imperfections and acceptance of who you are is spreading everywhere. I fervently wish this reaches everyone and they love themselves the way they are without giving in to the standards set by the society!