Reflecting on millennial viruses.
Social media has been linked to loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills.
But isn’t this result contrary to what we portray? The narratives we share on social media are all positive and celebratory. Then what causes this paradox?
‘Highlight reels’ “Sometimes it appears everyone you know are in great position, taking vacations and are living your dreams”. The truth is even if someone appears to be happy on social media or even in person does not mean they are actually happy. Social media is more like a magazine. The layout, pictures, phrases are all well thought out to show the audience only the glamorous side.
It does not include downfalls, the struggles or any part which is ugly.
When we’re presented with an opportunity to create an image in front of people. We obviously present the best; the shiniest side.
Why? When it comes to self worth only your opinion matters. However it needs to be carefully evaluated. We tend to be our harshest critics.
Hence, this digital personal magazine of each of us is well designed and bit far from reality.
So comparing this fake image of someone who is not even from your realm will only lead to unrealistic goals and expectations from yourself.
Also, it will lead to negative self talk, anxiety and stress ultimately affecting your work, relationships and health.
While these millennials are updating and changing their facebook walls, they don’t realize they’re building walls between themselves and the 3D people around them.
Sadly posting dinners, selfies and vacation photos over human interaction for some, is interaction. That IS their interaction. Illusion of having more social engagement, social capital and popularity is unfortunately masking one’s true persona. This starts a vicious circle. When someone interacts over social media for a prolonged period of time, inevitably they feel compelled to continue to check each other’s updates.
What starts as a fun way to document and share experiences can turn into an obsession about approval. Overly sexualized images or unrealistic body ideals can wrek havock on self-imgae.
Worst of all, users become increasingly depressed from comparing themselves to their own profile. A person’s reality does not match their digital illusion they create.
Emotionally they feel they’re not living up to the “best” form of themselves.
We got tired of seeing pictures of people’s latters and launches plastered all over their FB walls, conveniently Insta came around to let us revel in the photos of all things interesting. It is a vehicle which works on photos first words second! So you might scroll through and see beautiful bodies, “casual” but certainly posed shot etc.
Insta took everything to the next level. You no longer gain a “like” as you would on FB; instead you get to “love” a photograph. And in a society as starved for love and affection as ours, who wouldn’t objectify themselves for a little bit more “love”? Perhaps we need to be more mindful of what we like and love. May be instead we simply need to tell each other personally how much we value and care for one another rather than seeking the same online.
Instead of searching for any bit of evidence to validate your self limiting belifes, know that, “everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”, eloquently stated by Albert Einstein.
We all have our strengths and weaknesess. Those define our unique core worth. We all are innately loving, born with infinite potential and equal worth as human beings. Therefore with hard work and self compassion, self destructive thoughts and beliefs can be unlearned.
Look at yourself objectively. Let the people around you celebrate your good qualities. And dispatch those who use your insecurities for their own gain.