Life

The Social Media Effect…

I’m sure I’m not the only one with a dedicated folder on their iphone for all the social apps.

Let’s be honest we are living in a very digital very social age right now. Technology is continuously advancing to the point that they now actually do have cars that will drive themselves…not that I’d ever trust a car to drive me anywhere without a driver. I’m guilty of having multiple different social media sights that I am on just as much as the next person. I’ve learned a lot in the years since I first joined that world though. So here’s just a few of my thoughts on the matter.

Real vs. Ideal/Fake
What exactly do I mean by this? Think of it this way. Those of us that have Instagram and twitter and follow these celebrity accounts will understand this. When someone is posting Instagram pictures that have clearly been altered to show them in their best light that is what I’m talking about. Most of what a celebrity decides to post on their social media sights is completely calculated. Be honest and think about what you are posting on your Instagram. Is it photos of what your life truly is like or is it photos that you’ve calculated to get the most likes? That’s the problem that social media causes. It blurs the line between what we ideally want our lives to look like to an outsider and what our life really is. It shouldn’t be about getting the most positive comments or likes. Social media was originally created as a way for us to be more interactive with each other not create a false sense of reality. We need to learn to combine our ideal life with our real life. If you don’t want to share your reality with someone else than you don’t need to join a social media site. At the end of the day remember that the choice is ultimately yours about what you choose to post on your social media.

Comparing yourself to other’s
This is a problem that every single social media site causes. I know because I feel it a lot when looking at different people’s Instagram and posts on their different sites. Posts where they are at the beach having a beautiful vacation and I know that I can’t afford a vacation. When you start comparing your life to someone else’s life it becomes a real issue. Just because you don’t look the same as someone else or your lives are different it doesn’t mean that their life is any better or worse than yours. Remember what I said in the above paragraph. A lot of times people are not going to share the down moments in their lives because they want to create that ideal life in their social media postings. Society as a whole needs to stop living in the mindset that we have to compare each other. Comparing ourselves to others especially those that are mutual followers and friends on social media can also create a world of problems. Suddenly you may start to become jealous of their life or their appearance and instead of making the friendship stronger it could completely diminish it. On the flip side you can also create a friendship with someone that maybe in the past you didn’t think really would get along with you.

False sense of Popularity
Just because you have 400 Facebook friends does that actually mean you have that many real friends? Probably not. Social media creates that idea that we have all these friends when in reality only a select few of the people that follow your accounts probably are your real friends. This idea dates back to when all of us were in school and the phrase “popular girl or popular guy” was a thing. What did they do that made them so “popular”? Probably nothing in particular they just had what you assumed to be a lot of friends some of whom may not have in the long run stayed friends. How many followers you have should not be an indicator of how good of a person or friend you are. You don’t need to have that many friends in order to feel complete.

Social Interactions
Social Media creates the idea that you can live behind a computer/tablet/phone and not actually venture out into the world and have physical social interactions. It’s so important to learn to put down the phone when out in public and actually interact face to face with someone. The younger generations are learning to be completely social through online interactions and it is causing poor social skills when out in a public setting. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and I’m sure you have to. I’m not saying social media is 100% bad for you or that it isn’t really social because you are interacting with people. Why would I say something is bad for you that I do myself. Social Media has made it easier than ever to communicate with people. It’s instantaneous to just login to Facebook and boom send a message or leave a comment. In a way that is something positive that it does make it easier to communicate with friends and family that we may not see all the time.

Safety and Security
Social Media has opened the gates for people to much easier find out about your life. Just based off of what you share on your pages people can know the kind of person you are. That’s why you have to be very aware of how much of yourself you are putting out there. Posting about where you had that steak dinner last night is not necessarily the most safe thing out there. It has made stalking a person that much easier and we’ve all seen those stories on the news to know this to be true. There are programs out there now that your employers can use to comb through your social media history. So all those posts you thought were only able to be viewed by friends and family suddenly can be viewed. Again, this is why some people choose to never be active on social media at all.

The conclusion: Is it good or bad?
The answer to that question is that it’s neutral. You can’t label social media as completely a bad thing or completely a good thing. There are good and bad qualities of having social media sites. Social media is all about how aware you are of it’s effects on your life.

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