The moment we open our eyes we probably toss and turn in our beds for a bit and release our morning fart and guess what we do next? Pick our phones up and scroll through social media. Social media was the last thing we looked at before bed and the first thing we looked at when we woke up. How pathetic! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do it too, so I’m in this with you guys. But the reason why I wanted to write about this topic is because many of us (especially young people) tend to compare our lives to people on social media that we don’t even know.
Don’t get me wrong, the world of social media is amazing, and it creates so much opportunity, but the problem is that many of us are not using it correctly. We scroll through Instagram for the 50th time that day and see a picture with the caption saying #GOALS and automatically feel that this is how our life should be. WRONG! Social media is only a snapshot of our best lives and no one (including myself) will never show the worst parts of our lives. Why would we? And that’s the issue. Snapchat and Instagram have become a platform where everything has become all image and we have not been able to establish reality versus filter. We have become so pretentious, even though we may say we are not, but having a certain number of followers, or getting a certain amount of likes or comments on a photo mean so much to us. We look at pictures of other people and automatically start wishing that our lives could be that way, “why couldn’t I have as much money as that person”, “why couldn’t my relationship be like that persons”, “I wish I was as happy as that person.” Or the ultimate killer I know many of you females can relate too – “I wish my body was as nice as hers” or “I wish I had a bigger bum”. Lord knows I can relate with the ‘bigger bum’ topic. The moment we start comparing ourselves to others who we don’t even know we begin to lose ourselves and forget how important it is to love ourselves.
We are growing up in a Snapchat/Instagram world where everything is bursting with filters and we have become experts at using these. Therefore, we show to everyone that we are doing amazing, even though we feel like absolute shit and are secretly going through depression. The worrying part of this all is that it has become a norm in our society. When we pick up our phones, a chemical called dopamine is released through our bodies and this is the same chemical that is released when we smoke, take drugs, drink alcohol and gamble; in other words, we are highly addictive to our phones. We have subconsciously become addicts to social media and technology, which is why the moment we hear a notification on our phones we pick it up right away and check it.
When we are young, many of us solely rely on the approval of our parents, but as we go through adolescence we transition and feel that we need the approval of our friends and social media. Therefore, when we post a picture on Instagram we constantly count how much likes we get and when we don’t get as much likes as our previous photos we start to panic.
It is the imbalance of social media that has become an issue and is greatly affecting us young people. We feel that we need our phones by our sides and in our hands wherever we go. We feel a sense of fear when we haven’t been with our phone for more than 10 minutes. It is our baby! We are so caught up in a world where technology and social media is considered our everything, that we forget to establish the difference between peoples “reels and reals” – if you know what I mean.
However, what many of us are failing to realise is that the social media world is a lie – and because we see this ‘lie’ repeatedly throughout the day, our brains then begins to believe that this is how we should start living. Always remember, although social media may be a great in some ways, never allow it to be wrapped up in your whole life, because you will go through life wasting, comparing, and not being able to distinguish what is real in our lives.