A slave to social media?

The explosion of social media has always been a hot discussion among professionals, in terms of opportunities and impacts it can potentially bring. No doubt, the current pandemic has encouraged even more social media usage as a mean of communicating with others from home. The word ‘use‘ is not to be underestimated. In fact, communicating is one, getting attention is another.

Referring to a recent article published by The Telegraph, there is a pressing concern over the upsurge of narcissism among young people. Accordingly, people are ‘being taught to place more importance on themselves than on other people.’

We often think others are looking at us. The truth is, others are busy looking at themselves too.

Social media tool that is simply used for keeping circle of connection posted on recent happenings has today evolved into something more fancy. This is also supported by various invention of applications that enhance and animate content, making stories unusually captivating. Popularity matters and it has a direct correlation with impression and engagement levels, ie: number of views, likes, comments, and followers are highly relevant. Likability is no longer as difficult to predict as used-to-be secret admirers or in-person gestures that can be time and effort consuming. Instead, rating of likability is just a click away at fingertips, at times overriding privacy concern.

Today, likability is an open-book where instant gratification can be felt within split second by the content creator and its audience, a feeling that may not be present in the offline world.

Being adored is a pleasant feeling – who doesn’t want to be adored? Alas, hunger to be adored can become an addiction. In particular, one can become obsessed over how he or she looks due to desperation in forming the perfect impression, to the extent of losing originality. At times, photographs, videos, and stories shared may have been filtered with advanced application, sugarcoated, or far from reality, all to gain increased likability and popularity. The idea of using social media in keeping circle of connection updated on recent happenings may no longer be what it seems. Rather, the information can be too far reaching, unreal, overly perfect, and create an illusion of competition to connecting peers, leading to formation of an even more self-focused and judgemental society. So much effort for a pleasant feeling?

If you think you’re a star, I think I am too.

So much work and hours are wasted on gadgets, catching moments to impress others, doing silly stunts, and most of all perfecting originality. Could the loss of time be better utilised for in-person interaction, a way to brushing up face-to-face social skills?

Do you care keeping track of your friends’ updates? Are you truly enjoying your moments as depicted?

Or you’ve been caught a slave to social media?

social media
Photo by Prateek Katyal

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