When I was going through my mails, I came across this weekly prompt: Social Media, and I only felt it to be the right time , for people to share their perspectives on this issue that has been plaguing our minds, creating a mirage of sorts where everything that was projected virtually started having an impact on us, that goes far beyond the surface level.
Surely when used optimally and carefully, it did help certain sections of society. Be it for marketing or staying in touch with our loved ones, social media came in with the promise of making our lives better. But how far has it been true… to what extent can we say social media has lived up to its promise…
There have been a handful of researches that continue to reflect, how social media posses a big threat to our emotional health and psychological well being. Despite the growing awareness, some are able to steer clear of its negative effects and some not. Well I unfortunately fall into the latter category.
For a while now, I was making a note of social media was affecting me. Not only was I experiencing pain physically (eye strain from several hours of viewing it), but also could sense how it was influencing my behavior, thoughts and emotions.
It was no longer a platform, where I would get in touch with my friends. Going through my feed seemed more of a displeasure and stress, and possibly made me cringe a little bit inside because I started feeling ‘I was not doing enough’. The downward spiral of thoughts was quite obvious to follow. No matter how hard I tried, I was not able to get rid off it completely. It certainly made a room for many such negative questions in my mind. I would agree with the point that social media has become a social validation feedback loop. Receiving the ‘likes’ does give an ego boost.
Along with that, the mindless scrolling down through the feed for hours (literally) during my free time/constant temptation of checking if I got a notification, made me realize where all this was heading to. Thankfully, I was able to take a note off it, decided to work on it and took the plunge of deleting one of my social media account.
I don’t know what others might deduce from such a decision. Yes, there is a slight downfall to this. I may not get ‘updates’ about my folks and friends often, which does at times makes me feel like I’m getting “disconnected”.
But then, this is also helping me work on my real relationships. It’s no more virtual now. Already a few weeks down from Facebook, I feel good. With all the extra time in my hand, I see myself giving more (in terms of quality) to my work and family. I’m also trying to revive my lost hobbies. Life seems to have taken a new route altogether.
But most importantly the one key difference I have noted, is ‘social pressure’ slowly fading away. I don’t feel the need to be a certain way or project myself in a particular manner. I feel light and content.
Somewhere in the internet I had read this quote, and felt nothing else could summarize why I made this choice…
To have a better life, we must keep choosing how we are living.