Dear readers let’s all get out of our state of denial. Enough faking, enough hiding. Let’s admit that we all use it, we all check it, and even those of us who claim to be too intellectual for it are in fact connected to it.
Whether we like it or not, we have all embraced Social Media. Sure, we have all embraced Social Media to different degrees, but we are all social networking in some way or another. Some of us are glued to our smart phones, while others feel compelled to check their notifications only two times a day. Some people claim to be too busy for Social Media, but even those same people are sure to have a Facebook account at the very least. The minute those “busy” people sit with their friends, they probably take out their phones only to check who has contacted them on Facebook.
Suddenly, checking who has re-tweeted our tweet, who has liked our photo on Instagram, and who has re-pinned our pin becomes a concern we need to attend to. So let’s stop hiding behind our lofty ideals, and let’s call things what we are, we all love Social Media.
The question is why? I do wonder, what is so special about Social Media?
I am guilty as anyone. I realized last week that I too love Social Media. A friend showed me Snapchat. I loved the idea, created an account, and just like everyone else I started adding snaps to My Story. But now looking back on the type of content I add to My Story, I must say that none of my snaps are important . I’m sure that outside the Social Media bubble we all live in, no one will stop to see my modest photo of the sunset, or the photo of my cat sitting by the fire. None of these posts are going to add a new angle to world philosophy, history, art, photography, or even enhance anyone’s random thought. But yet my friends see them. Just like I see the snaps of my friends drinking their morning coffee. I see snaps of my friends celebrating the birth of their niece, modeling their outfit before going to work, showcasing their homemade apple pie, and documenting their trips to Petra or even the supermarket near their home. If we really think about it, all these snaps would otherwise seem insignificant.
The idea of the unimportant seeming so important applies to Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform. Today, our modest photos are noticed, even if we know, and the world knows that we have edited them before posting them.
Facebook allows us to post our, otherwise, ignored views on our wall for people to like and comment on. Twitter allows us to send important and unimportant news into the void. Regardless of our intellect or the significance of what we are posting, Social Media allows us all to enjoy the glory of being seen and heard, and this was not always the case. Prior to any of these platforms ever being developed, one had to say , or do something really meaningful before getting noticed. Now , we can forget about the need to say or do something noteworthy, because something as simple as a selfie we took with our friend will get the world to compliment us for our beauty in it.
This is just my opinion, but I think social media, at the end of the day, feeds our ego. It feeds our drive for attention, and it allows us to shine in ways we wouldn’t otherwise be able to. We can now tell people in our network where we are, what we are doing, and what we are eating. We can even post our views of the restaurant we ate in on foursquare, and we can even feel that we have really made an achievement when we are named “Restaurant Expert”. Prior to the Social Media revolution, we would have been called opinionated if we had to say something about everywhere we ate.
Things definitely have changed, Social Media has enabled us all to be anyone we want to be online. Even, the shyest of people can really put their opinions out there. We can forget the old days where if we liked an article, we liked it and that was that. Today, we can like it, re-post it, talk about it to friends and strangers, and even share our comments with the author. One can even be called an activist for doing so. In a nutshell, Social Media has allowed us to act, feel, and even be more important than we really are. Social Media has fed the human need for an ego boost more than any other medium in the world.
So yes dear reader, you love Social Media, I love Social Media, and we all love Social Media, because it gives us all that moment of fame which in the past we actually had to work for. Let’s call it what it is, it boosts our self esteem and it makes us feel we are playing a vital role in this world.
Having said that, I must say that I’m not against feeling good. In fact, I’m all for anything that boosts people’s self esteem. I am never going to claim that Social Media is useless. It is , in fact, very useful. I’m all for the benefits Social Media has. It has made communication easier. I even salute the changes Social Media has introduced to the field of journalism, where the truth behind propaganda can be brought to the forefront by none other than the people who feel the need to comment and share. I admire the changes Social Media has brought to the field of Marketing, where a well designed ad is no longer enough . Thanks to Social Media, normal people like you and me post reviews about the product or service marketed to the world and consumers develop a more informed opinion about the product or service marketed. Thanks to Social Media, business environments in general have evolved , and these are just a fraction of its benefits.
However ,on the personal level, things are not quite the same. I really feel that many of us sadly use Social Media because we are in desperate search for self worth. This is sad because self worth comes from within. It is not in a post, in a friend list, in the number of likes or comments. We all want to look good, but we still need to think about what we publish. After all, an inflated version of one’s self is like an inflated balloon. One small pin in the road is enough to make it burst.
I know, I know, I’m posting this on my blog, and blogs are a product of Social Media. If it wasn’t for Social Media, I wouldn’t publish this point of view. So yes, I too love Social Media. I’m just saying Social Media is not a measure of who we are, what we do, or what we think. We can be anyone we want to be online, but we should never forget who we really are in the real worl