Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Silent Pressures of Social Media

Do you feel under pressure to be "seen" online through social media or otherwise? Are you trying to conform to something, and you have absolutely no idea what that is. If you're just as confused as I was, you might want to give this a little read.

I am not anti-social media, I use it everyday and a lot of the time it's useful. But I have started to realise the certain strings it has attached to us. Our social media that we are connected to are extensions of us as people and we feel helpless without the Wifey (Wi-Fi) at hand, or when a snazzy picture we took and uploaded got ignored by our Facebook and Instagram friends. 

The idea of Facebook and all the other social networks is to stay in touch with people we know, to see what they're up to and how they're getting on. But is there ever a little piece in your head that goes:

"Well, I haven't checked in somewhere in a while"

"I haven't uploaded a picture, people will think I have no life"

"I actually did something today and I took no pictures, people will continue to think I have no life"

"All I'm doing is sharing competition links, what is life"

Well, fear no more. A solid number of us have rocked in the same boat as you my friend. And summer time is the height of this god-awful-feeling. Constantly seeing cute piccys at the beach, cute piccys with the girlies, PRINKS (pre-drinks) with the girlies, town with the girlies, selfie with the crew, tagged in other people's piccys, amn't I great la-de-da. How do you feel after scrolling through your news feed? Studies have proven that a lot of the time, you don't feel any better - in fact your mood is altered by scrolling through your feed, amid all these social butterflies.

I have given up on trying to keep up with everyone, I am now going at my own pace and doing my own thing. A lot of the things I do nowadays don't get recorded online. Why? Because I want to enjoy those moments. I'm not going to appreciate them if I'm moaning over what filter will bring out my features more, or what angle will flatter my nose. And maybe, it's just my own private business? 

But people are, especially young people put under pressure to be seen to be doing stuff. It's a type of pressure no one talks about. It's silent, and it gnaws away at some people. Like I said, our social media links are in some shape or form, extensions of us. Therefore we can see other people's lives on a screen and compare ourselves. Compare ourselves to what? A screen, it's just a screen at the end of the day. Though people don't put up what they don't want you to see. That girl who went to that crazy festival last week? She's battling with depression. That big tough guy everyone knows? He's gutted because he didn't get his place on the football team. That older girl you know from your school that went to so and so's party? She didn't get her placement in a college she's been wanting to go to for years. No one's lives are perfect, though we upload the perfected version. 

One time, we took photos so we could print them out, and keep them for reminiscing down the line. Then we took pictures to share with our friends on Facebook. Now? Some people take pictures for the sheer number of thumbs-up to be got. And it seems your social worthy-ness is evaluated on the amounts of Likes or Comments you get. When you sit down and think about it, it's crazy. 

Don't compare yourself to another person, and especially don't compare yourself to a screen. You are worth more than a visual display unit. You need to separate yourself sometimes from this Bubble that a lot of us have been in at one stage or another. You are a person with  interests, hopes and dreams and talents. And a lot of the time, a status, a check-in or a picture isn't going to convey all of that very well. You are your own person, and shouldn't be defined by your online activity, or lack of same. I am (not) @Cather_i_ne from twitter and Instagram, I'm Catherine, first and foremost. 


Post a Comment