WHY I SECRETLY LOATHE SOCIAL MEDIA (Well, it’s not so much a secret): I’m going to be completely honest with you here. I am obsessed with social media. I have two platforms I use, Instagram and Facebook. Despite the limit of pictures I take (I am not here for this selfie movement) I still manage to be on these two sites every day and at least twice or more an hour. And although I love it, I absolutely hate it! Why?Because these sites may possibly be the most failed thing my generation has ever thought of. Here’s why:
TROLLING/HARRASSMENT: Never in the age of all kindness has trolling been so prevalent. Social media has been implicated in its direct influence with suicides and depression (insert your own observation here). It’s a daily thing when hearing about a child’s bullying incident and how many of their aggressors were able to verbally attack them on these sites.
I do recall the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Times have changed and so has the saying.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones and the trolls will forever haunt me”.
If children aren’t dealing with these trolls then famous stars are. If you have Instagram, look for your favorite star and read the comments below them. It’s one thing to criticize an individual for their looks but these sites have allowed individuals to sit behind screens and berate any and every one.
I CAN BE ANYONE: Social media allows individuals the access to persons that they may never have access to in real life. Instagram is literally a catalog. You know what you like and you’re able to go shopping and see through the eyes of the other person.
Here’s the catch though – chances are that the pictures taken are set up to make one’s life seem grander than it actually is!
So if you want to be someone else, social media allows you to be whoever you want to be. Except, the problem with that is – it takes away from who you actually are. You’re living through someone else’s footsteps which causes one to redirect their own life and lose sight of their own destiny. It’s a trend but this trend doesn’t seem like it will burn out soon. It’s quite similar to a fashion trend. When you see someone wear an outfit, one will purchase the same outfit or mimic certain components of it and when another sees your outfit, they’ll do the same thing. Except with social media, the craze is wide spread – people begin to look alike, act a like, etc. and originality goes running off (and boy does she run fast)!
I DON’T KNOW HOW TO COMMUNICATE: Do you people watch? If not then you should. You’ll notice that most of the world around you – aren’t talking to one another. It’s almost like you’re watching robots. The faces are unreadable, their walking directions are steered by the music pumping from their earphones, and their eyes are usually down – glued to the phone.
With social media, one is able to communicate without actually being in front of the individual. You’re able to connect with someone in other parts of the country and don’t get me wrong – we’ve been doing that for years with the whole pen pal movement. Yet, with social media you’re able to send human emotions through a few emojis and limit your wording to a few letters! WTH IS ^ w/ THAT (I’m sure the younger generation can say that in like 4 letters)!
The downside to all of this, you ask? Well what is real and what is superficial? You can’t tell the difference between sarcasm and surprise by wording and you wouldn’t know that an individual was crying by their words (unless they tell you so but chances are, they won’t). We’re getting comfortable without reading body language, without having an actual argument that isn’t only limited by the pounding of keys (or phone screens for that matter). I can’t tell if you’re mad or sad so I’m left to make my own assumption and I’m going to go with …happy? – Boy will that assumption end well.
CAN I SIGN OFF NOW: While writing this piece, I checked my social media about 40 times already and responded to messages then asked myself “what was I doing before I just went on FB?”. Often times, I get lost in the craze of social media just like others in my generation.
Yet, unlike others – I do unplug from time to time. When I unplug, I deactivate my FB (I can’t deactivate IG so I just uninstall the app) and don’t access my page for weeks or sometimes a month or two. What do I do on my spare time? I communicate! I talk my head off with friends and strangers, I read body language and I go out to social events but here’s the best part, I don’t post about any of it.
I don’t post my emotions, I don’t post what I’m going through, I don’t post where I am, I don’t post anything of that nature unless I want to (which isn’t very often). And that leaves a mystery about me. It causes individuals to ask who I am. Who is this person? That’s something that a person should question when they’ve accessed your sites. You should be a mystery – a curious character. A shadow on social media, you should leave individuals wanting to know more – like a cliff hanger.