I came across this a few days ago. It struck me and it made me ponder on it. I took it further into my thoughts, you know those roads in your head where you venture down into it’s bright or dark alleys?
It started with my own support for it (yeah Carpe Diem!)
With smart phones and social media we throw caution to the wind and discard a lot of things, like keeping things personal, protected and private, nope! Just share the hell out of it.
It has become too easy to just post pictures and updates, instead of going to our family and friends, call or hang out and rather than to go get pictures printed and keep and cherish what we have captured on our camera phone. Why bother? Every body is doing it!
From my own thought process in my current state of mind you see, I just lost my brother a few months back and together with memories of our childhood, it was his pictures and his own words he had shared online, that I found myself craving for, to fill the void that he left. I took comfort in this and actually was thankful that he shared all his moments on his Facebook, so that we could look through it and seek solace. (That’s ok right? Not hurting anyone etc..,)
That said, oddly enough as time went on, I kept coming across many posts about “How Social Media is ruining our lives” on Facebook as well as Twitter etc. (not going to touch on identity theft, doxing, hacking, it’s another different downside arrgh!)
Maybe it’s the need to fill the void that leads us to the immense use, to the point of addiction, I wonder what is it that has made us hooked on it? What are we seeking in our engagement and what it is actually doing to us as our own person and as a society?
Studies on this are showing that it gives us a sense of gratification, acknowledgement and validation of the words we put out, the things we share, from our personal photos, accomplishments (or failures), to our own thoughts, be it about the weather or food or politics. Makes sense no? Yeah we can identify with that innocently enough.. (it makes us happy dammit!)
But as I read further, many studies alarmingly also shows, because of it, how disconnected society has become. What should have been (initially) something we use to connect with people, which is supposed to be good before (like e.g. Milk and cows and chickens before being fed antibiotics and steroids ..I don’t know..) has in fact turned on us?
Life did exist well before this insane drive to post and share on social media. But somehow we have been swept up by this need to post it up and shares, likes, hearts, sad, angry, wow emoticons in comments, swipe left or right and retweets have become a much sort after, supreme validation in our life. It’s become our addiction (oh God more addictive behaviors?) and absolute necessity as we get sucked into the need to constantly seek validation.
Social media is becoming, in my opinion, an example of “too much of a good thing is bad for you.” People are being tricked into thinking that they are getting good positive reinforcements on the things they share, even for or from strangers, we share pictures of our homes, ourselves on our beds, our inner sanctum like as though it actually matters to people, known or unknown, that people actually genuinely care without getting something out of it on their end. (And like everything there’s also the good not just bad obviously as long as you don’t overdo it right?)
Well it has become what some would say, a double edged sword. One should not be oblivious to the terrible downside of social media. It is a problem which can get pretty damn dark. For every action there is an equal or opposite reaction. Things are, for the most part really, largely not in reality, what they seem.
We live in a world now so plagued with paranoia and fear, of exploitation and we are seeing this everyday. So much fear and paranoia sowed into our psyche that we fear the next person. Differences are highlighted even more intensely than our common humanity.
The stereotypes and stories being portrayed in news and social/media, being relentlessly and subconsciously drilled into us each time we click or log into something, does rob us of our own intelligence. To be able to think critically for ourselves and to weigh everything we see or read on our social media feeds to our God given common sense. Many posts have been shared without thinking. Why should we even? just click on the share or retweet button see? Easy peasy.
Social media encourages the intense need to have a voice, to have rights to a voice, to be able to do or to be, and a lot of the times it invites people who, on normal day to day (physical) life, whom you wouldn’t even have any connections whatsoever (friend of a friend ) to have a say in your life just because you have put yourself and shared with the online world and bam! you have opened yourself to (unnecessary) opinions and attacks from others.
Bullying and extreme criticism are some of the biggest downside of Cyberspace. People just can’t let it go. They become entranced by videos of kids beating up each other, picking on each other, humiliating each other, girls and boys making fools out of themselves and these gets widely shared. Posts that has no benefit goes viral. 2.5M views!. And as time goes by, acts like these are becoming, and accepted, as “normal”. But what is it doing to us? Why have we chosen to become enablers to this madness? Sharing the hate, sharing the divide, sharing the fear and paranoia? Why are we feeding this addiction that is now being proved to be detrimental to us?
People tearing into each other for the sake of an argument, comments that are hurtful, insinuations, suspicions against and towards others actions, (further) divisions, the need to be right, sometimes the most innocent of actions are misconstrued into something else, something even more sinister and whereby every single word is subjected to intense scrutiny and overthinking, is torn into shreds and people relentlessly punching holes in what is just a picture or story. If you know the person, you can just as easily get the story straight from the horses mouth, theirs, or both sides of the story instead of participating in this backbiting and condemnation that is rampant today?
Everyone feels compelled to put in their 2 cents worth, some hiding behind anonymity, others not. And that the slightest wedge that can be lodged will be lodged. Every hole we can punch into it needs to be . Like we are these self-appointed judge & jurors to a case, that we need to proof people’s every day life with “beyond a shadow of a doubt”. Be CSIs, James or Jane Bond. Why do we put up with it? If the world wasn’t strange before, shit has definitely gotten even more strange and most definitely weird!
And it’s really sad how things have spiraled. Politicians in or aside, we are seeing a deeper irreparable divide to what is suppose to bring us together, to connect.
We are seeing many factions of thoughts and ideas , thousands of various vendettas, those who are fighting for their ideas, right or wrong, fight for refugees, no why should we? Do more for our own! This is what we or they need. Ok we are doing this. No!that’s not good enough!. Nothing is ever good enough. There’s always cause for complaint instead of co-existing, understanding or being grateful. And even those who are truly grateful and doesn’t have any ulterior motives other than to just share their story get lanced too. (sigh*)
But sadly, that’s where this reality is going. Everything has become something that is under an intense microscope. An innocent post of “She was traveling… ” WHY was she traveling? WHO was she traveling with? WHAT did she wear? Did she have someone with her? What did she eat? What did she drink? Where are the places she visit? WHAT did she buy? Wow so grand (or not) ..Was she this or that? Who is THAT sitting, standing, crouching beside her? Did she say that in her post? WHO is she?!” This is what social media platforms have allowed. Magnified.
Slowly we’ve become zombies to an alternate reality with true obsession, it is that to a point where our fingers get very restless when we are not scrolling through Facebook or games or apps. (And that is why we now have what is called the Zombie Law).
We feed our thoughts, our voids with utter nonsense. Perceived levels of other people’s and stranger’s expectations on ourselves even if it was directed to someone or something else, but gluttons for punishment we are, we take it on in our own life and then go on to set the bar so high and get sucked into deeper depression and anxiety for that perceived genuine approval, the need to keep checking our phones, like a tick, first thing in the morning and all through the day till we fall asleep.
We have become an obsessed generation. Einstein was right. And as for that post that got me into this rant, well whatever you decide to share of yourself, there’s always the good and bad, try to touch base, step back once in a while, don’t get swept away and keep in mind that at the end of it all, You are not going to be bringing any of the false expectations and excessive scrutiny (just don’t get exploited to the point you destroy your own self!) except for the goodness you have lived and done for others.