Social Media – Love, Hate & Obsession

imagesLMHJP0AQAs some of you may know, I’m currently studying counselling, and one of the current topics that really enticed me was our good old friend – social media.

I find social media is kind of like a mask, propped on the face of reality. Nothing gets posted in its natural state, it’s all planned and scripted.

The same as when you read a magazine or watch a film. Yet we continue to compare our lives to those in magazines and on social media – but when we think about it we all know were being fed a bunch of lies – hell, even Instagram has ‘instant’ edit your photo options!

I know that by saying this, I most likely sound like a cynical old git, but I think it’s about time we pointed out the elephant in the room. Quite frankly throwing a sheet over it and pretending it’s not there isn’t going so well.

I’m definitely NOT implying every post on Instagram, Facebook etc. is like this and that people should shout “bullshit” at every tweet. But there are some real issues arising from the social media boom.

It’s like an addictive drug – a love hate relationship. We’ve all been there at one point when our days been an absolute disaster. So what better way to depress ourselves that wee bit more, than to hop on Facebook? Scour through the beautiful pictures, the lovey dovey messages, the amazing things they are all up to and don’t forget the Pinterest perfect parenting. However the reality is most likely very different from what we see.

We never really think that the girl with the most beautiful selfies, has spent all day applying makeup and doing her hair just to take that one photo, all for a little confidence boost. The guy that updates his status with all the inspiring quotes, is actually calling out for some support.

Addiction, Insecurities, Divorce, obsession, depression and many more I could list. All of these issues can stem from our imagestgjmfixation on the social media craze. Our fascination with the lives of others. An obsession fuelled not by the need for knowledge to broaden our horizons, but by our insecurity’s and emotional baggage.

Regardless of the negatives, the majority of us love it. The simplicity of being able to contact a friend on the other side of the world in an instant, to be able to instantly upload that sunrise snap. It’s a great thing – it keeps us connected and gives us the chance to share our lives.

I’m personally a big fan of social media – especially as all my family and friends are in the UK, I’m a frequent Facebook, Twitter and Skype visitor. It most likely sounds like I’ve tried to take a massive crap on our beloved internet, But I’m not. I’m just trying to remind those of you out there, dealing with some of the issues I’ve pointed out. To let you know your not alone and to stop you beating yourselves up about it. So, here’s to a bright, happy and well-connected future.

If you take only a few things from this just remember on good days, bad days – and even those days, you post something you most probably shouldn’t have we’ve all been there and were only human. Your allowed to make mistakes, its part of our nature – just make sure you learn from it.

So here’s my top points for keeping a clear mind in amongst the social media madness…

  • Learn to take things with a pinch of salt –  No matter what the post is about, it’s always going to be interpreted it in a thousand ways. There will be differences in the way a person perceives the writing based on their emotional state or even the way in which they read. So when some may laugh hysterically at that joke, others may find offensive as they have missed the intended humour behind the words. Long story short – don’t let the small things you see on Facebook or twitter bother you, remember it’s just an extension of your social circle. If your upset by content rise above it. Don’t let it impact your real life – sometimes ignorance really can be bliss.
  • What you post does have an impact – Never underestimate the power of the internet, we’ve all seen how fast that silly picture can spread or the ‘1000 likes and I’ll get a dog’ posts. So imagine how quickly something obscenely offensive or embarrassing can spread. If it will spark enough interest to be ‘retweeted’ or ‘shared’ then make sure it’s something you’re proud to own up to, because once you say it you can’t get it back. As Benjamin Franklin once said – It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.
  • Internet addiction is REAL and its causing a whole host of problems – Yes it’s real, and it can be very mentally damaging. Worsening existing mental illnesses and causing the rise in new sufferers. With cyber bullying constantly on the rise it’s no real shock that many people are suffering from online abuse. The Next Web have a great post I stumbled across when looking into this so check it out! It will definitely open your eyes.
  • Stop Comparing Your life with the unrealistic ideals – We’ve all done it, I know I have. Compared our entire day to what we feel it should have been… It’s not healthy, it’s not realistic and quite frankly it’s stupid. Every day is different, no matter how much we plan things the biggest impacting factor on the entire outcome of how our day goes. Is us, our mood and attitude. Feel like crap? Already adopted the feeling sorry for your self-attitude this morning? Then yes your day will most probably be as crap as you feel. Nobody likes a negative Nancy. So let’s go back to basics, enjoy that warm coffee and look for the little things to be positive about. You only get one chance at today so make the most of it, and every night when you get in bed? Remember tomorrow’s a new day. Your life is your own, stop comparing it to Dave next door because you only see what he wants you to see anyway – and that’s certainly not going to be a selfie of him stuck in the toilet with no loo roll!

I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.

H. L. Mencken

3 thoughts on “Social Media – Love, Hate & Obsession

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s