Our Love-Hate Relationship with Social Media

A few days ago I logged onto my Facebook account scrolled to the end of my timeline and took a look at the first post, it was embarrassing and a bit dark, and it involved a certain popstar jumping off a building and popcorn. Though I’m not in a position for people to care about my past, many people who have come to that position have had to deal with people going through their social media archives hoping to uncover offensive and hurtful things that they may not currently believe in. They say the Internet never forgets, sometimes the things you’ve said come to damage you in the future.  

Social media is a platform, which is hard to avoid these days. We can both love and hate it all in the same time. I love apps like Instagram because they enable me to know what the people around me are doing and also follow designers, creators and photographers that I like (and of course memes) but then, in the safe comfort of anonymous names and computer screens, people tend to unleash their overall malice and viciousness without dealing with the consequence.  Sometimes as we scroll through our feed, we see things that make us wish the entire internet would just get deleted.

We question ourselves every day. Why do I want to post this picture?  Is it to get validation from others or to share special moments with others like most people claim? Are the people I’m following really living such ideal lives?  All these questions do not have one clear answer and that is why we are constantly debating them.

Though I don’t think that Social media is the best thing ever I do acknowledge that it goes beyond pointless twitter rants and pouting selfies, it’s a medium of communication, news (both real and fake), and a place for showing support, activism and personal expression. It’s a reality that is unavoidable.

I decided to ask some people a few questions regarding social media and below were their responses:

Do you think social media makes people self-absorbed?

“Maybe, people have always been self-obsessed but since we now have platforms to express those tendencies I believe the narcissism has increased.”

“Yes it does, these days everyone cares about how they look on the outside to people so it ends up making them more cautious about their appearance.”

“No, people, in general, are like that I’ve seen middle-aged people take more selfies than the average youth.”

“ Yes, it does. from what I have seen, people go out to spend quality time only to end up at the same table, together, with their faces absorbed in front of the screen. instead of mingling and conversing with others beside you, people now find it better to look at the latest posts on media platforms.”

What was your first Facebook post?

“LONELY! SOMEBODY ANSWER ME. HELLLOOO!!”

“I like Facebook but not facing my book”

How do you think social media has evolved with time and what do you think is its future

“It’s bigger before it was just about having fun and communicating with people but now it has grown so big and it impacting our lives even more. These days you see people doing activism online and showing solidarity with marginalised groups of people halfway across the world, they’re even people doing business and earning their livelihoods from these apps and websites. I think social media will continue to grow in the future and change with time, we already have apps like Snapchat who are rethinking what people want and doing things in a whole new way”

“People are much meaner and hateful than they used to be. Before, they were much nicer. More and more people will be using such platforms in the future as the Internet will probably be more accessible then.

“Personally, being a hopeful person, I would like to think that we as humans will see that the media is not all that. people have developed depression and obsessions by following others on these platforms. we will eventually realise that talking to each other is better than looking up people’s lives.”

Would you prefer to live in a world with no social media?

“I have mixed feelings about this but generally no I wouldn’t. I am introverted and not very social, this is how I socialize with people and can easily express myself. I’m a millennial” [laughs]

“Yes I would, now that I think about it I’m mostly on Instagram because of the fear of missing out on things, otherwise if there was no social media I would have a bit more time on my hands.”

“Yeah, I do not mind. Sounds more idealistic and peaceful to me, than the present. where people involve each other in conversations, there is less cyber-bullying as a result of it. Moreover, people will find it harder to track through other’s lives and opt to live their own.”

 

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