The Dangers Of Social Media

The Dangers Of Social Media

The word ‘like’ has taken on a whole new meaning over the last few years and promotes certain feelings we’ve all become pretty accustomed to. The feeling of self-worth, importance but most importantly acceptance. We’ve all been guilty of putting a photo on Instagram/Facebook just willing the ‘likes’ to (hopefully) come flooding in. But why do we do this? We allow ourselves to be judged, cut open, laid bared for all to scrutinise or applaud. But when you actually think about it in detail these people are those we saw ten years ago sat across from us in a maths lesson or a friend of a friend you met once on a crazy night out. Or they are complete strangers, faces hidden by carefully selected words, emoticons and pictures. Is this any different from a school playground where our biggest mission in life was not to get the best grades but to sit with the cool kids? The difference now is that I’m doing this at 29 and still feel the need to be ‘liked’.

The biggest question I ask is what is this doing to our relationships? Not only between me, myself and I but to those we love the most. How many of you sit on your phone instead of asking the person next to you how their day was? How many of you post inspirational quotes from other people when perhaps if you started talking you’d produce your own? And how about those relationships which may never get off the starting line because we all want more. We see the toned, fit beautiful bodies of models, the perfect outfit, perfect skin, the glorious sunsets of a far away country, people portraying perfect lives. And we have to have it. The person that would have once got your heart racing simply doesn’t live up to your expectations anymore. They have done the unforgivable, they have flaws.

So, in a world of hashtags, likes and filters how can we ever have a true sense of being or have meaningful relationships? I know most people will say this is the modern world now and yes this is true. After all, you try arranging a night out with your friends and it will all surround around Facebook, iMessage, e-mail or Twitter. Gone are the days when if we said we were going to be somewhere we were there. Unless it was after 6 pm and you could use BT free minutes to call your best friend.

I do not believe the internet is to blame for all evil, it is not some two-headed beast which must be slain in order for us to lead fulfilled lives. I do not blame Mark Zuckerburg for creating this false reality we all so readily participate in. In fact, the internet can do wonderful things. It allows us to keep in touch with friends we meet on our travels, allows us to start up an exciting business venture, helps with tracking down long lost family, and it allows us to simply win that argument with that annoying person at work.

The question I pose is this. Can we not have a balance?  Can we not use and view the internet for exactly what it is. A wonderful tool which can aid our existence but not control it. I’m not sure we can but I’m going to try my hardest. Not only for myself but for those around me. After all, let’s be honest, you don’t post a picture of your face first thing in the morning, taking the bins out, or snuggled up in your pyjamas at 7 pm on a Friday night. But this is the reality of our everyday lives. It’s not all sunshine, holidays and yachts. But that’s not a bad thing. These things we don’t post are our substance, our very being. And mainly done surrounded with the people who know and love us the most. Those very people who have been forever by your side and don’t judge whether your Instagram photo is a bit too contrasty.

So, how about we all take an evening off from posting about that amazing view you’re looking at right now and actually enjoy the amazing view you’re looking at. See the colours in the sky, feel the warmth on your face, and enjoy your own thoughts. Or put your phone away whilst you’re eating dinner and enjoy the company of the one opposite you. Trust me it will make that person’s day.

So, I’m going to stop writing this now as I am so guilty of all of the above and I give you permission to stop reading this now. Give your tip tappy fingers a long overdue break and enjoy life… As it used to be.

Love, Becky x

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