The views expressed in this article are the views of the author.
Social media is huge in today’s society. Millions of people are connected online through various different platforms and websites. Although the purpose is supposed to be fun and helpful, it’s beginning to do more harm than good. The internet is an outlet for people to express themselves and show the rest of the world what is going on. I believe we’re in a time where people find it very important to look happy online.
People want their lives to look more fun or interesting than those around them. It’s the perfect place to show off and get attention from others. For example, a person can make a post about their successes or show photos from a vacation. Rather than using these sites to stay connected with friends and families, people are beginning to view the online world as a competition.
So, what’s the problem with that? People are allowed to express themselves and use social media how they please. Is there really a danger in that? Perhaps not for everyone, but for a majority of users, social media is controlling. We’re becoming addicted to sharing our lives online and it’s creating competition for others to look the best. We tend to compare our lives to others, trying to find the pros and cons. Social media makes this habit easy. We go online and we’re flooded with images of people who look better than us doing fun activities that are out of our reach. We see others having what we want and it tears us apart. It makes us insecure about our own lives and creates the need to prove ourselves to those online.
With the desire to show everyone that our lives are meaningful, we strive to post memorable moments that make us look happy. The problem is that people are more focused on capturing a moment rather than enjoying it. We look back on our photographs and media posts remembering these moments and we receive feedback from our friends and followers. But what are we actually getting out of it?
I’ve had my own negative experiences with social media. There were several times where I’ve found myself taking extended breaks from online and even deleting accounts due to pressure. Even with my minimal use of it now, I find myself getting sucked into the competition that is represented online. My feed is constantly filled with models and popular pages that are getting tons of positive feedback. Meanwhile, I look at my presence online and I find it stressful to post because I feel like it’s not good or interesting enough for anyone to look at. When I do decide to share something, I find myself checking my phone constantly to reassure myself that people see what I’ve posted and that they like it. It’s anxiety-inducing and it’s putting a strain on my day-to-day life. The relationship I’ve developed with the internet has turned toxic, and I don’t think I’m the only person who feels this way.
The truth is, social media is destroying our ability to enjoy life. We’re unable to live in a moment because of our addiction to capture every moment of life. At the end of the day, we still find ourselves comparing our lives to others and feeling unsatisfied with what we have displayed. It’s an endless cycle that leaves us wanting more. It can be viewed as an addiction and many of us are falling victim.
Perhaps it is time for us to step away from our screens and escape this fabricated competition. By freeing ourselves from the pain social media brings, we can finally enjoy life. Events won’t just be posted on our timeline for us to look back on. Instead, they can be in our memories and we can recall the best moments of our lives. Taking breaks from media outlets can be beneficial for everyone’s mental health. There are even several celebrities that admit to taking breaks from social media because they feel they cannot live up to expectations.
We don’t have to live our lives online. If we take the time to live our lives as real people, we may find what actually makes us happy.