Just the other day a friend took a selfie while we were at Charlie Bistro, a pal commented on the pic “aaaahh! Elvis, you must be living large nowadays, you seem to have your life in perfect order.” It got me thinking a lot about social media, and how this plays a part in creating a certain life that seems perfect from the outside. Just like my friend, I have also been a victim of social media envy, I remember sometime back I was not working for about a month, I was so broke, all I did was chill in the house, read books and browse as I kept looking for a job.
I would wander to social media particularly Instagram and Facebook, all I could see were other people having fun, from the pictures. This would really depress me until the next day one of them would call asking me for a loan, and I would wonder, weren’t you the guy who was just sky diving in Malindi just the other day.
“An open Facebook page is simply a psychiatric dry erase board that screams, “Look at me. I am insecure. I need your reaction to what I am doing, but you’re not cool enough to be my friend. Therefore, I will just pray you see this because the approval of God is not all I need.”
Social media has also created a fallacy, a fake life that almost everyone is showcasing. A scroll down my Facebook timeline, a quick glance of profile photos on my contacts on WhatsApp or WhatsApp statuses, and Instagram pics all portray a rich lifestyle of all my contacts. Photos were taken at exclusive posh areas, near high-end malls, at expensive joints, near posh cars, etc. In fact, all if not 97% of my contacts on all social media platforms are very rich and wealthy if you go by the lifestyle they portray
“It amazes me that we are all on Twitter and Facebook. By “we” I mean adults. We’re adults, right? But emotionally we’re a culture of seven-year-olds. Have you ever had that moment when are you updating your status and you realize that every status update is just a variation on a single request: “Would someone please acknowledge me?”
Many of us are posting the highlight reel of our lives — it’s easier to post a photo of our double Mocha at Java with those big samosas they have than to admit that we’ve struggled that day. Or, share a status about how we’ve failed. Or, that maybe our lives don’t look quite as put together without a filter on.
When you are about to post on Facebook, about, let’s say some good career-related news or some achievement, ask yourself is it out of vanity? Is it because you want the likes? the messages of congratulations? and perhaps, if you’re brutally honest, you want others to know you are doing well. News that is quite personal, do we need to make it so public?
“A fixation with connecting with ‘friends’ online comes with the risk of disconnection with friends waiting for you to be present in the offline world.”
Essena O’Neill had a picture-perfect life. she had over 800,000 followers on Instagram and a lucrative career as a social media model. On November 2, she blew that reality to bits. In a YouTube video, O’Neill tearfully explained that while she had enjoyed a “perfect life” she was depressed because it had no purpose. She deleted both her YouTube channel and Instagram account, and declared that “Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real.”
These are some of the pictures below taken before she deleted her social media accounts, in the picture she explains how fake the pictures were below ;
“You are what you share.”
Social media is a marketing platform where potential employers exist. A quick look at your tweets and posts will tell employers whether you are the employee they need or not. Remember you are a brand, social media should not change that, live the true you, social media high-end lifestyle showcase, leave it to socialites who must do so to attract customers at a high fee. Whom are you attracting with a high-end fake lifestyle when you are jobless and have siblings and family that is looking up to for assistance, yet you are a graduate who is still jobless?
Each time you create a tweet or post for any of your social media platforms, remember you are a brand and people will judge you by what you post, the kind of lifestyle you portray and this will have a great impact in your real life.
“The society is getting addicted to technology, especially social media, quite like one gets addicted to cocaine or pot. And it all works through the neurochemical process of reward and punishment. And furthermore, when a whole world starts functioning driven by this petty instinctual process of reward and punishment, things in existence begin to get really messed up, like it has already started.”
“The more screen-time you consume on your device, the more revenue can the big tech make. So, your health, your wellbeing, your sanity and serenity are nowhere closer to their priorities. That’s why, your health is in your hands, your serenity is in your hands, your sanity is in your hands.”
“Selfies have begun to replace memories – likes and comments have begun to replace lasting conversations – illusive friends and followers lists have begun to replace real reliable friendship. And this is nothing to be taken for granted.”
“Turn off all notifications on your phone, except the most important ones. And check your social media only once or twice a day, not every minute. If you can do this, then perhaps there is a possibility, that society will not completely lose its sanity and health after all.”
Have you ever posted a happy pic online to mask your real-life suffering? Remember, don’t allow likes, comments, shares, retweets, favorites define who you are!!