Ah dear reader, where do I begin with enlisting the dangers of social media? I completed my college years and high school with no interference from social media (totally giving away my age, but, oh well!). Photo albums were the form of ‘media’ back then and yes competition existed in the form of ‘bush pictures’ (aka photos of relatives living abroad, a measure of wealth). Nowadays, many social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have toppled the primitive photo album era, heightening competition alongside other numerous ills.
Social media does have many great uses (e.g. uplifting society through educational forums, excellent advice etc) but truth be told, these platforms are seldom used for such purposes. I stand guilty as charged for occasionally propagating the opposite (see list below) but lately I’ve been fighting hard to overcome the snares of social media and I encourage you to join me in limiting your social media usage. The benefits thereof (happier and healthier relationships with loved ones) are well worth it. Here are some of the hidden costs of social media:
- Social Media Addiction: Have you ever quantified how much time you waste away on social media daily? I did, and it came to almost 5 hours (I kid you not) of aimlessly scrolling through social media. After this shocking discovery, I went on a social media fasting period. I’m happy to report that I have been (for the most part) social media-celibate for several months. I sometimes backslide (damn you #Jelena – aka Justin&Selena; #FentyShoe collection etc) but I make a conscious deliberate effort to curtail the habit. I encourage you, dear reader, to equally become aware of how much of your precious limited time you are wasting away coveting other people’s lives and possessions.
- Violence: The lack of censorship on social media has been one of the biggest turn offs for me. Just the other day, I clicked on Pinterest and the first photo that popped up was that of a man in black about to decapitate a skinny blindfolded boy, with the caption: “ISIS decapitates a 15 year old boy for listening to western music”. This and many such horrific images are splurged across every form of social media outlet. It’s sickening and does affect our mental health. I challenge you not to contribute to such violence by distributing similar awful photos!
- Competition and envy: We crave validation through social media and we show off our assets and achievements for the world to see. Needless to say competition and jealousy are some of the fruits of social media. I’m learning to censor my photos and messages and to be a force for good (admittedly, I sometimes fail but I’ll keep trying).
- Self-esteem: This follows off from competition and envy. How often have you felt like you just don’t measure up? When all your friends keep posting photos of yet another trip overseas, brand new expensive cars, sets of Gucci bags, wife, hubby & kids on fleek! etc where does that leave you? Guard your eyes and mind, limit social media usage. I encourage us all not to participate in causing other people’s downfall with unnecessary show offs!
- Faking it all: All that glitters…Ain’t no housewife in “The Real Housewives of whatever!” Enough said.
Let’s get back to truly being present in the moment and valuing each other without the annoying distractions of social media. Please join me in making a difference, no matter how small, starting with yourself. Limit social media usage and be truly present with your loved ones and friends.