“…LIKED YOUR POST”
“…COMMENTED ON YOUR POST”
“…MENTIONED YOU IN A COMMENT”
“…RETWEETED YOUR TWEET”
“…SHARED YOUR POST”
We live in a society where the amount of likes, comments, followers and shares we have on a post defines our happiness and how we see ourselves. Someone who has 10 likes on a post will have a lower self esteem and is more likely to fall into depression than someone who gets over 200 likes. Most people only know how to communicate over a phone and not in person. Some teens tend to take their own lives because of not being “pretty enough” or not having enough followers to gain “recognition and popularity” on social media. This is the sad reality of Social Media.
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called The Social Dilemma (I highly recommend you watch this). This documentary focuses on the impacts of social media on individuals as well as society and how it causes an addiction and damages ones mental health. A lot of the points that were brought up took me by surprise.
Have you ever wondered why one app shows the same thing you searched for in a different app?
For example, you will search for cat food on Google and find that Amazon suggests places where you can buy cat food without searching for it in the Amazon app? This all has to do with artificial intelligence and how social media companies monitor the things you search for. Somewhere someone in some social media company knows every single thing you search for, everything you watch, who you stalk on Instagram. YES, its freaky, I know!
After watching this documentary, I decided to not use social media for 5 days. I mean, how bad could it be?…. (It got kinda bad:/ at first…)
It went from social media being the first thing that I check when I wake up and last thing that I check before I sleep to just laying in bed reflecting on my life and certain events that has happened. Thinking about these things could go one of two ways and often didn’t end up very well.
I usually watch youtube or browse Instragam or Twitter while eating. It was at this point where I thought that doing the whole “no social media for 5 days thing” was a really bad idea.
During times when I take a break from work and Islamic studies, I had to find things to distract myself and keep myself busy.
The one thing I found really difficult was not being able to go onto Twitter to see everyones views about the Presidents speech. I couldn’t even post about it. :/ ( bringing me back to thinking that this was a really bad idea.)
A whole lot of good did come out of it too. With all the extra time, I typed out this article, started a new online course and tapped into a few of my favourite hobbies such as colouring and drawing. I am not going to lie and say it was easy, it really was not but it was worth it. Without social media, I was able to focus on the world around me and not the world out there. I even cleaned out my gallery (Like, who has time to do that?). Apart from the two breakdowns I’ve been through within the past 5 days, I feel a lot happier.
I got used to not going onto social media that it actually feels weird going onto these apps and liking posts, etc. I now realised how pointless social media can be if you’re not using it for valid reasons.
Apart from all the negative impacts of social media,I personally think that it can be a good tool to use as well… That is, if you use it the right way.
But don’t let social media ruin your happiness and your self esteem. You are an amazing individual and don’t let numbers under a post tell you that! A million likes will never be enough if you do not like yourself. Learn to post less and do more. Compare less and reflect more. Discuss less and accomplish more. Always remember that being famous on Instagram is basically the same as being rich in Monopoly. You do not have to post to prove it. Make sure that you’re happy in real life and not just for the internet!