Without a doubt, social media has positively changed and influenced the process of communication between friends and family regardless of distance. Today, within seconds, multiple people from different continents can have a real time conversation which otherwise would not have been possible without the technological advances that we are enjoying today.
For every advantage there is a disadvantage and this is also true with social media. So many people have been left casualties/victims of the phenomenon that is social media. Without guidance and the mental maturity, the negative impacts of social media can be far-reaching and long lasting. Many people have lost their lives, children are losing their innocence prematurely while others end up in rehab for social media addiction.
As a society, young and old, we are spending large amounts of time socializing on the net. This results in less face to face interactions, which has made us very dependent on our devices and almost intolerant to the needs and emotions of others. The need to be popular on these platforms is alarming, many find themselves needing to live their life’s online; posting every bit of their lives in hopes of convincing strangers and their followers that all is perfect and spotless in their world. Isolation from social media / lack of popularity has led to numerous mental, psychological, emotional problems and physical issues such as depression and anxiety amongst other things because some feel that they are missing out on important things by not partaking on online activities.
Below are the factors that l personally feel have since worsened since the rise of social media:
Arguably one of the largest negative impacts of social media is bullying. Although targets are usually young girls this isn’t to say that boys are never victimized. Many who have been bullied, humiliated and victimized on social media either suffer depression or suicide as a result. In as much as we live in a century that advocates for children privacy etc., parents and guardians really need to make sure that they are in the know of what their children are doing, what they are entertaining on the net, the sites they visit and how they converse with their mates. Parents and guardians that condone their children bullying and terrorizing others are part of the bigger problem. At an extreme end they need to also be held accountable for the trauma the victims suffer as a result of their children’s unruly behavior. In as much as this isn’t a conventional method of combating cyber bulling, it may help to ensure that parents actively correct the way their children behave, by so doing preventing their children from damaging the lives of other children.
More than ever, millions of people are suffering from the “I need to fit-in” syndrome. Literally they are dying to be part of the happening (popular) circle. They feel the need to be part of the movers and shakers of the likes of Facebook, twitter and Instagram at all cost. While the onlookers feel oppressed, wishing they had all the glitz and glamour that social media “kings and queens” make you believe they have.
Almost in every street or house, I kid you not, you are guaranteed to find most of the people there thinking hard about the next move to get quick money, buy fake name brands and SLAY. Morals have been lost, respect for our bodies, as the temple of God is a thing of the past. Its almost as if the motto for these “slayers” is: slay by all means necessary.
Some young women sell themselves to the highest bidder all for the mere want of checking into some expensive hotel, carrying fake name brand and travelling across the world, living for today, forgetting that there is a REAL life to live outside the pictures on Instagram, Facebook etc. Amnesia suddenly takes over and they forget that after posting half naked pictures for likes, they still real have jobs, professional images to uphold and elderly family members that still very much care about keeping their family name untainted. Apparently its moving with the times, staying current and relevant, but at what cost??
Does social media have the power to destroy relationships? How is it that these platforms have been given so much power as to destroy what was once a happy, solid relationship between two consenting adults? Could it be that we as a society today have forgotten the values that we need to apply to ensure success of our relationships? Since the days of Myspace many relationships have suffered, as the daily challenges that come with relationships are broadcast for the world to see instead of privately working through the issues and keeping the relationship going, that’s if the feeling is still mutual.
Interesting and sad enough, some don’t even know that the relationship has ended until they open their respective social accounts, to find that their significant other has changed the relationship status to single with their pictures confirming that they are no longer committed or interested in you, or worse some even know the status of your ended relationship before you do. Its as if social media has made us childish and off tune with our emotions and respect for others. Could this be a disease as a result of spending most of our free time behind gadgets so much that we end up forgotten how to respect the feelings of others?
Chasing the wind
It is pathetic and sad to see how some are blindly living an off-routed life, Angus Buchan calls it “chasing the wind”. Of which none of us no matter how capable or intelligent, is able to catch the wind. There’s this unspoken gap that some feel when they see the life of “made to believe” that is created by, photoshopping images on social media, pretense… forgetting that many of these pictures are just that…. pictures and nothing more. The life that many live on the net is a lie, a lie which has made some resent their real life, feeling like the life they live is not adequate, opting for despicable means in order to live a social media approved life resulting in their demise.
Do not be mislead by pictures, no person in this wide world has a perfect life. Live your life with dignity, do not live a life that is driven by how many likes you can get on social media. Life isn’t a competition; don’t waste it by focusing on how popular the next person is. After all when you down and out, its not social media friends that comfort and console you through your darkest saddest moments. A person can have thousands of friends on social media and still be the loneliest person in real life. Social media popularity certainly doesn’t mean a fulfilled life.
Our aim should be to live a free, honest and fulfilled life and not a life of likes and popularity. As the saying goes: you can fool some people sometimes, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Making a spectacle of one’s life, even to strangers, isn’t an achievement. Let’s be wise and live honorable and worthy lives.
Don’t be fooled!
Thanks for the read…