There is nothing inherently evil about social media. Social media is what we make of it because if we ceased using it, it would no longer exist. We create social media. We are why it’s still thriving. Every post, every new account, every like. We keep it running.
And right there inlies the irony of the classic, modern-day finger-point to social media for literally every problem that exists in today’s world. If everyone believes that social media is the root of their insecurities, FOMO, and general dissatisfaction, why are we all still using it?
Seeing someone else’s status about their awesome new internship shouldn’t piss you off. That other girl’s bikini picture shouldn’t make you question your own beauty. Watching Snapchat stories of other people going out on a Friday night, while you’re spending your night at home, shouldn’t make you feel like you lead a boring life.
The truth is, if seeing any of the above mentioned posts would truly worsen your mood, social media itself is not the problem. Deep-rooted personal insecurities are what cause us to feel almost insulted by other people’s postings of their victories and accomplishments. Although it is a lot easier to blame a picture on Instagram for your bad mood, sometimes self-reflection is necessary. Think about why someone else’s posts would bother you so much. Realize that insecurity and jealousy that go past a picture, post, or status are almost always responsible. Pictures, stories or statuses are almost always the reasons why.
Many of those who blame social media would also benefit from readjusting their perspectives on how social media actually works. No one’s life is exactly how it appears on social media. No one posts the bad moments, but we all have them. Few people realize that social media is not an accurate representation of how life actually works.
A girl in one of my classes once shared a quote that read “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.” We all post our highlight reels. Our social media feeds reflect our best, most exciting days, and that’s great! But remember that before you let a picture on Instagram ruin your day.
And no, social media itself is not to blame for failing to depict society for what it is. We, the users of the social media, are the ones who decide what content gets shared on social media. So, we, the users, have two options. We can either all start posting our bad moments to try and recreate the truths of life on social media, or we can simply just change the way we view the world that exists only under our fingertips. The latter seems more reasonable.
Let’s all start viewing social media differently. If we can do that, social media will become a tool for everyone to improve the quality of our lives in different ways. Use social media to connect with people, learn new things, and share your stories.