What’s wrong with being friends with people that you actually care to know? What happened to use social media solely as a place to keep in touch with distant friends, family, making some new friends that share similar lives, and to stay up to date on the world? When did it become not ok to just be yourself, and your life just another page to entertain the masses as they, like you, try to distract themselves from reality?
The purpose of social media has always been to create a platform to bring the world together, connecting people with each other and information. However, over time, social media has become a digital world in which some live their lives through, creating an online persona that does not depict who they truly are. They have forgotten the world beyond the screen in front of them, creating a fake life online to impress friends and followers they don’t even really know, and spending endless hours on pictures that have been edited countless times to convey a certain look only to pretend to be something they are not.
So why is this happening? Why have people created fake personas to appease the masses? It’s because we all want to feel like we belong. The problem is social media has evolved beyond just a place to connect with people and information, it’s become a place where people can build a brand around their name and a topic, it’s become what reality tv was.
When reality TV took over, and normal people that lived outrageous lives became celebrities, and not for any particular admirable talent, but because they lead crazy lives and had eccentric personalities, people fed off of it like bees to honey. Then as social media expanded, these people created another platform for themselves on social media to expand their brand. Normal people that wanted to be recognized and become reality stars themselves took notice and began using the various socially media platforms to build their own reality show and brand. Social media now became a melting pot of people selling an image to become recognized for economic reasons, and people just looking to socialize and stay informed about the world around them.
Eventually what ended up happening, was these individuals looking to make a name for themselves grew and took over social media. People that were on to socialize became overwhelmed by the various bigger than life personalities and lifestyles to the point they began to forget that these people are there to entertain, and the persona they have built is not necessarily who they are. These lives are mostly scripted or a façade to feed into the story they are trying to sell the audience, and without realizing it, just like reality tv, we ate it up believing that most people are actually like that and that our way of life was inadequate.
To feel like they belonged, people began to follow the template of social media celebs and create an alter ego, not only in hopes of becoming a celeb themselves but to fit into the social media world. Social media was no longer mainly about real people meeting real people and no longer just used to stay close to friends and family, or keep up to date with the world around us; it was now about how hot are you, how many likes do your posts get, and how many people follow you. Social media was now the platform that people felt they needed to be accepted into society.
As people became consumed with social media, spending countless hours picking the right picture and videos to post, posting every detail of this amazing lifestyle they want people to admire, they lost who they are along the way. People have become obsessed with what others think of them on social media instead of in reality. Becoming depressed and stressed at every negative response or dislike of a post they created, forgetting that those responses can’t actually hurt you. It’s gotten to a point where people are actually committing suicide over their social media accounts.
Social media is not life, its entertainment, and the sooner people can realize that the better off they’ll be. Like all entertainment it’s meant to entertain on your downtime, it’s not there for you to live your life through. It’s not easy to walk away from it, but if it affects your life that much, you might have too. I understand you’ll feel like you’re missing out on what’s going on in the world, but think, what did you do before you became obsessed with checking your social media every 15 minutes. Walk away from it until you can get a grasp of what is actually important in your life, trust me you’ll be better off for it.
If your aim in life is to become some type of social media celeb, then go for it, not telling you not too. What I am trying to get at, is don’t lose yourself in the process. Nothing wrong with being who you are and owning it. If you do still choose to create a persona to win followers and viewership, remember to separate it from the person you are, even if that means creating two accounts. You’re not a brand, you’re an individual, don’t be afraid to allow that part of you to grow, because no matter how much time you spend on social media or how many friends/followers you have, it will never be more fulfilling than real human interaction, and the feeling of being authentic.