Thanks to my good friend Tolowoetan for pitching this topic idea. Hope I did it as much justice as you would have wanted.
Social media is any application or website that helps to aid communication between people. They are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media ) .
Few examples of social media includes: Instagram, facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, pin-interest, youtube, tumblr, reddit, Flickr, Google+, WhatsApp and Snapchat just to mention a few.
Social media vs reality
For so long now, social media has been a place for us all to share snippets of our lives with not just friends and family but with different people around the world as well. It offers us an escape from our normal lives and selves, while giving us an avenue to create our own perfect little world.
The mass media affect our perception of reality because, in a very real sense, they create our reality.https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/how-does-mass-media-affect-our-perception-reality-367074
Nowadays we’re so engulfed in taking that perfect picture, having that perfect body, wearing that perfect dress and having that perfect life in general that we lose sight of our own reality. We look through our social media accounts and are bombarded by so-called “perfect ” girls and boys leaving the dream life and we’re stuck trying to re-create the mirage they’ve shown .
The problem begins when you allow yourself to be drawn away from the reality of life into believing that everything you see online is real. When you begin to compare your achievements and successes to what is displayed online, when you begin to wish you had the “perfect life” of certain persons online – then there’s a problem.
When you begin to go out of your way(and pocket as well) just to create a facade for the ‘gram ,then there’s a problem. When whatever your parents or partner does for you falls short of your expectations because they’re compared to those you’ve seen online, there’s a problem. When your happiness and validation lies with the amount of likes on your pictures and the amount of followers you have, then there’s definitely a problem .
What we all need to realize is that no one truly has that perfect life we all claim to have online.This misconception surrounding what we see online is really misleading, and has led us into a false sense of perfection We all go through troubles and struggles, but none of this shows up on the ‘gram simply because that’s not what people have been conditioned to see. We all strive to achieve unreasonable standards based off on what our “popular” celebrities or icons put out there.
The fact remains every one has a right to put out whatever they want to about their life on social media, they don’t owe you or anyone an explanation . But rather you owe it to yourself to understand that there’s more to what’s seen online rather that putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.
We’ve being conditioned to see the smile but not the tears, to see the wins but not the losses, to see the wealth but not the sweat and to see the perfect life not the struggles.Abbey
When we look through social media we assume that’s the actual depiction of a person’s life, but that isn’t true. There’s always more to each and every post, that we might never know. You only see what the other person wants you to see, just like I only see what you want me to see through your social media. You want people to see that you’re happy, living your best life and doing well for yourself and that’s in no way a bad thing as no one likes to show off their ugly mess or “wash their dirty linen in public” .
Beating yourself up because you feel you’ve not achieved or had as much successes as some of the people you follow is fool-hardy. We all have our flaws and no one is perfect, no one has a perfect life as we all encounter troubles at some point or the other. We need to be true to ourselves and understand that everyone’s path and struggles in life are different.
It’s time to stop trying to fake a perfection that doesn’t exist, because whether you planned to or not there are people looking up to you somewhere, trying hard to carve that perfection out for themselves as well when in reality it doesn’t really exist. Try to BE REAL – your followers will appreciate the good, the bad and the ugly and just like everyone else not everything is sunshine and roses . It would be a nice change if we can use social media to tell our true story, with a balance of good and bad. So when we look bad at them we will be grateful for the good and bad times that kept us going.
If only more people realize that behind that perfect picture was about 40-50 other pictures, behind that “I woke up like this” look was a quick early morning touch-up on your face, behind that six-packs was a lot of work and effort in the gym and some nasty diet. Behind that expensive vacation with the family was hours of packing, behind that healthy meals and diet was a sneak treat of ice cream and chocolate here and there.Behind that new car was hours spent working overnight with sleepless nights. But all this are behind the scenes no one will ever know or ask about
Social media and mental health.
Social media has been known to lead many down the dangerous road of depression, anxiety and even withdrawal. As someone who has experienced this first hand, it’s really hard to recover from the unhappiness this can cause.
Social media affects your mental health in the following ways:
- Low self esteem and envy – have you ever gone through your social media feed and you just begin to notice everything that you feel is wrong with you? You begin to compare and doubt yourself and your worth because of what you see. Then slowly you start to feel envious and bitter towards such persons.
- Misleading body image- the high beauty standards nowadays has led to a rapid increase in anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphic disorder. Men and women feel they need to look a certain way to be considered beautiful or handsome thereby putting unnecessary pressure on themselves and their bodies.
- Cyberbullying: the rate of depression, anxiety disorder and suicide caused by cyber bullying is nothing short of appaling .
- Loneliness – social media can make you feel isolated or withdrawn, if for example you find pictures of your friends at a party you weren’t invited to online you begin to feel left behind in such situations . One can develop FOMO (fear of missing out) on events or things happening.
- Depression and anxiety – constant comparisons of one’s lives to others is bound to lead to this.
- Ruined relationships and friendships – when you begin to attempt modelling your relationship and partner to what you see online, there’s bound to be problems
- Lack of social skills– the inability to maintain or even start up a face to face interaction is high, as we become mostly used to more screen time interactions.
- Lack of sleep – Sleep is very important but usually it’s relegated to the background leading to poor sleep quality. Lack of sleep due to social media can be as a result of mental health issues and can also worsen mental health issues.
Reducing the negative social media effects on our mental health.
- Move social apps off your home screen. Having this extra step to open them can reduce the urge to check social media as soon as you get on your phone.
- Schedule specific times to check social media or set a timer to limit yourself to 20-30 minutes.
- Put your phone on silent. When we aren’t hearing a tone or vibration every time we get a notification, we’re less likely to get distracted.
- Take a break from social media or limit the number of apps you use. Try sticking to apps that you use the most to communicate with people.
- Be mindful and intentional of your social media use. This includes following people and brands that make us feel good and unfollowing people that don’t make us feel good. Look for those that post funny memes or inspirational quotes to help ease stress.
While we’re on the topic of good social media use, if you are in need of an affordable:
- Web designer, software developer and an android app developer feel free to contact Joel on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/itz_cooljoe/
- Photographer and graphic designer, feel free to contact Johnson @ T.O Concepts on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/t.o_concepts/
Make great use of your social media accounts, remember there’s nothing perfect we’re all flawed in one way or another.