“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” – Lily Tomlin
With everything about our lives being a post on Social Media, the need for likes, loves, validation and emoticons has changed the game of socializing. From a lunch photo shared on Instagram to the latest dress modelled for Facebook and the constant check-ins that we so proudly follow, the idea of ‘socializing’ is no more restricted to meeting friends on a weekend or a relaxing week-long journey to Maldives with family and spending some quality time. How then, is this not a constant need to impress- to receive validation for every move in our lives, living to impress not to express, really worth it?
Well, the social media giant ‘Facebook’ gets the prize for notifying people of every little step we take. From the latest live video feature to the constant check-ins, Facebook has become a truth-checker for birthdays, marriages and even jobs! If you are one of the few who still thinks that Facebook is one of the ‘safer’ options, read on to know these astounding facts about the impact of heavy Social Media use on one’s well-being.
- More than 2 hours per day can cause Isolation:
Amidst all the long list of friends on Facebook, we forget that the simple greetings given with a handshake or a hug, is something that we all are hard-wired to and no matter what your age is, keeping in contact with people only over the computer will only cause isolation.
- Opinions or ‘keeping in touch’?
The truth is Social Media works on letting your opinion known. Compare this to a live situation where you are commented on what you wear all day long. Tiring, isn’t it? That’s the game of social media- we don’t realize how much we are engrossed in getting validation for things that won’t even matter in the long run. Would it?
- Reel Life Vs Real Life:
The use of social media revolves around the idea of social validation and comparison. Comparison is a human drive, we all do it in some or other way but social media perpetuates this issue many folds. And as a result, Facebook posts often leaves a strong negative impact on our well-being, when we constantly compare our behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlights reel-life, our hustles to their highlights. Bottom line is simple, don’t lose the sight of who we are, what we do have, and all the things that we can be grateful for.
Because the ultimate trust is:
“Your behind-the-scenes are more honest and beautiful than anything on the highlight reel.”
- An addition that distracts from quality time:
Ever been to a family function or a friends’ party or reunion to see everybody bent over their phones (trust me, it sucks big time)? The need to be connected to 1500 people instead of 5 in real life might be tempting for most of us, for sure! But what we forget is how it isolates us from the 5 people who really care about us and have taken time out just to catch up with us. What a real-life social network can do, is something that no chat on a messenger can. Nothing beats an in-person social relationship, take my words for it!
- Ubiquity of Social Media and Epidemic Loneliness:
Despite the ubiquity of social media, we are facing epidemic of loneliness and social isolation. Perhaps one of the most powerful tools for improving our emotional and social well-being is real life social connections – the presence of genuine, strong and meaningful relationships where one feels understood and supported not constantly being compared or judged.
Well, even the online networking companies have realized the benefits and opportunities for strong-offline, an in-person social relationship. And as a result, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg published a letter in February 2017 describing his vision for Facebook as a platform that builds real-life support systems. Tinder has recently developed new products within its app to encourage users to meet in person. Hmmm… Still, didn’t get my point??
The bottom line, you ask, right? All I would say, don’t become a victim of mindless persuasions of social media and follow these quick fix. Have a quick check on Facebook /Instagram /Twitter and then run or work out or meditate (it could be anything you love to do)- an hour or so without any brain space for it for the remainder of the day and you are sure to be surrounded by people who care about you. Plan a lunch or dinner where you are interacting over games, movies or just enjoying plain chit-chat or a deep conversation, with no social media distractions !