Because everyone else seems to be living and you’re just not
These days, our smartphones have become an extended limb. In fact, it’s the first thing we reach for in the morning (“to check the time” even when there’s a clock right above our heads). And social media? It’s like water to our information-(sometimes attention-) thirsty generation. The FOMO has become too real that we can’t resist the urge to take a peek at our phones every time we hear a ting! even in inappropriate situations.
We are part of a generation where documentation of every day life, from the mundane to extraordinary moments, has become the standard. In fact, we’ve gotten so good at it that it hurts.
Best Self Forward
Social media is a great avenue for people to share their work, send a shout out to individuals and organizations that inspire them and sometimes, show a side to them never before seen. If Facebook and Twitter are the world’s emotional wastebasket, Instagram is the millennial’s life curated in *~amazing~* pictures. And in the latter, we tend to exercise putting our best-edited self forward too much. Because everyone wants double tap-worthy posts, anyone with a nice feed can start charging 7 digits for a square and call him or herself an influencer. “We’re communicating a front, subconsciously or is it half consciously? And it’s causing others to do the same,” says one social media user during a group discussion for this article.
[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BfwvjkwHbhU/ ]
Worth of You
Social media can be unhealthy when you use it to measure self-worth. Disagree? But deep down or at the back of your head, you’re wondering why your photo didn’t get as much likes, why you don’t have as much followers and why everyone else seems to be enjoying their perfectly lit lives and you’re not. We begin to self-doubt as “we’re constantly fed images of people live, like really live,” and we see ourselves just getting by.
So Much Feels
For others, social media triggers anxiety and paranoia. Another participant explains, “When I see friends hang out with our other friends, it’s like are we all still friends? Is there a reason why people didn’t invite me?” And this fear is real and very much valid as other participants say they, too, can relate. The feeling sometimes evolves to unnecessary anger or bitterness, with one saying, “When I see my ex’s photos, I’m like, o tapos? Alam kong hindi talaga siya masaya.”
Need This In My Life
Social media has proven effective for many bloggers, influencers and businesses. And the way they curate, style, edit and present their products today is so in tune with our needs and desires, it makes us lust for things we never knew we needed. Material things become our #goals and we tend to lose sight of what’s really important, like bills that need to be paid.
That Girl, She’s A Real Crowd Pleaser
So how to be happy in the age of ‘me,’ where half the time statuses are posted, photos are shared, videos are uploaded for likes, views and followers. Our value becomes equivalent to the numbers we see on our screens; personal validation comes from both our social circles and complete strangers. We live to please for false attention and it seems many of us have yet to realize this. Nosedive, an episode from Netflix’s Black Mirror is a glaring reflection of the world we live in and what it could become.
How to be happy? Look up from time to time; there's a world that exists outside of social media.
Art Alexandra Lara