Andi Dela Torre Griffiths
Social Media Fixation: Changing our Perception of Reality
Life on social media, for the most part, is just smoke and mirrors.
Let’s be honest. Most of us alter a lot of things on Instagram, whether it’s that blemish-free selfie, that nice birthday party you didn't enjoy, or that yoga session that only lasted for a few minutes. We don't really tell the truth all the time. Sometimes we post to earn, sometimes to express, and sometimes just to impress people. #realtalk
With the amount of time you spend online (and with the bunch of accounts you follow), I’m sure you’ve already noticed how “perfect” everyone’s life is on Instagram (or on Facebook); your workmate travels every month, your batch mate eats expensive dinner every week, and your former subordinate just throws parties every now and then.
“Wow, they’ve already pulled their shit together”, you say...but is it really what it seems?
Looking beyond the images
Whatever it is that you see online, there is one thing you need to know: not all of it is real. There’s some truth in it, yes, but one grid doesn’t show the whole picture. Life on social media, for the most part, is just smoke and mirrors. We only see what people want us to see, and vice versa. We don’t really put the bad parts out there, so we shouldn't believe everything that we see online. Most photos on Instagram or similar platforms don't accurately represent a person's life, status, or relationships. The majority is just for show; to prove something or get others to affirm something that we feel needs more validation, like the way we dress, the way we look, our happiness in relationships, or our cool friendships. You get the idea. Not everyone truly lives the kind of lifestyles they project on social media.
Designed to sustain users' attention
It's important to remember that social media platforms are carefully designed by large companies to be very addictive. After all, these businesses thrive on the amount of time we spend on their platforms. It keeps the advertisers coming, so users must keep using. Going back, it lures you in because unconsciously, it falsely taps into your larger self through the likes or comments you get from your cool photos. The validation makes you feel better as a person, thus giving you get a dose of short-term confidence...until the temporary high wears off and you feel the need to do it again. Then, before you know it, you've already spent hours editing, mindlessly scrolling through your feed, or uploading.
You see, this is not to say that using Instagram or any social networking site is bad, but to remind us that social media and reality are two different things. And we shouldn't forget that.
I know some people are already aware of this and are probably mindful when it comes to using social media, but not everyone is, which is why I'm trying to shed light on the topic (social media is making teen girls depressed). Hopefully, I am able to get my point across. When you feel as if everyone is "getting ahead" and you aren't, remember to look beyond the images and keep in mind that we all move at different paces. There is no need to compare your life to someone else's. Find inspiration online instead of checking out who's making progress, and don't forget that time is precious; avoid getting too preoccupied with social media unless it's a source of income.
Moderation is key. We don't have to constantly post about everything to prove that we live happy lives. Just because our great moments aren't out there for everyone to see, doesn't mean that it didn't happen *wink*. Feel free to express yourself, but keep some things private. As the saying goes, "make more moves and less announcements".
Again, the use of IG or any social media platform isn't bad, we just have to use it moderately and consciously so that we do not deviate from reality. Enjoy the fun that comes with it, but don't get too fixated on it. Focus on the real things that matter and enjoy life on a whole new level. ♥ Our relationship with our actual friends should matter more than our followers. Our relationship with our loving partners should matter more than our cute photos. Our wonderful experiences should count more than our cool pics, and our life goals should definitely be better than our feed goals. Again, unless your work requires you to be on social media, or it's a source of income, it's best to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media. Less scrolling, more living =)