I just finished binge watching Mr. Robot and after psychologically soaking the awesomeness of the show I am bored. It’s not that I don’t have anything meaningful to do, in fact, I have a shitload of work to do. The deadline is at the horizon but I am at that stage of stress where I need some meaningless distraction. I take out my phone and decide to scroll through instagram in search of the one of the best gifts of the 21st Century, memes. I can’t even begin to describe the beauty and joy of memes as they righteously deserve an article of their own. As I mindlessly scroll through my Instagram home page I am cheered by some memes; it is amazing how people manage to make fun out of everything. As i am checking out the happenings I see a former schoolmate’s handle in the suggestions. It’s been forever since I saw him so I decide to go through his page and he seems to be doing really well; he had all this top of the art cars, he was interacting with the who’s who of the entertainment industry and for some reason he was holding wads of cash against his ears. This made my heart drop, not because I was jealous but because for some reason it made me feel useless, like I had done nothing useful with my life. What started as a meme hunt turned to a full on CIA investigation into all my friends, acquaintances and strangers. In the end I was more depressed than ever: I felt ugly, my stomach looks like an alcoholic’s potbelly, I am a liar for telling my girlfriend she’s the most beautiful and perfect woman in the world, my life is not working out. At 21 I’ve already failed in life, I am a loser in everything.
Social media sites, specifically facebook took the world by storm when they were first introduced. They were unprecedented and connected the whole world; making it a global village and most importantly it made memes common to all. However, all that glitters is not gold. Social media did not just open-sourced information; it also open-sourced insecurity, self-doubt, and shame. We tend to equate success to the number of followers, we get addicted to that like button, so as to feel appreciated and loved we equate it to the amount of likes we get, People are called by their ridiculous social media names foregoing the names their mothers carefully and meticulously picked out for them. We tend to live different lives; the social media life and the real life. Social media provides so many charades that we no longer know the difference between fake and real.
Social media sites give us unrealistic body and life “goals”, comparisons that make us even more depressed and ashamed with ourselves making us forget that most of those pictures are the handiwork of photo shop manipulation and filters. There is no crime in editing your photos the problem arises when young girls buy to the fallacy that the average waist size is 22 inches and that skin should be flawlessly radiant and that people “really did wake up like this”, or that the average 20 year old boy should already have a garage full of fast cars, or that the normal stomach should be sculptured with eight pack, worse if I don’t drink smoke or take drugs am an eternal loser.
Research was conducted on social media users it deduced that even though we experience negative emotions we feel pressured to access the sites due to the fear of missing out. The music video of Major Lazor and Partynextdoor featuring Nicki Minaj song “Run up on you” offers a chilling glimpse of the near future where we will be living literally glued on our phones where face to face communication will be a thing of the past.
Social media are a great tool for raising awareness, allowing people to do great things and be true to themselves but it can always do the opposite things and that’s just the fallacy of our modern society