We are a generation that is criticized for oversharing. We post every accomplishment on Facebook, every good picture we take on Instagram and every thought we have on Twitter. We are obsessed with presenting a version of ourselves that is polished, successful, fun and witty to the world. We use media outlets to gain a control on the perception that other people have of us that is unprecedented. We can literally broadcast (the good parts) of our personal lives for the world to see. Part of this is really incredible. It opens our eyes to the lives of people around us. It shows us a side of our friends and families that we might not have ever seen. It shrinks our world- connecting us to strangers through common thoughts and interests. Social media opens up a dialogue that has never existed before; it creates a familiarity that has forever changed the way we interact with one another, which in many cases is great. However, this increased access into the personal life of people around us can also be toxic. Along with older, more traditional media outlets, Snapchat has changed the way we relate to one another. It has given us the opportunity to share our most casual moments with the world. While in someways Snapchat is more private than other forms of social media, as it is generally reserved for closer friends and posts only last for 24 hours, Snapchat boasts a level of intimacy that can be toxic. Snapchat allows users to practically stream their lives to their "friends." This all access account can be very entertaining, but it can also be too much. When we share things non social media, they take on a glow of being special and exciting. Because Snapchat is used more frequently than other platforms, it can make events that we miss out on look more special than they actually are. It can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I noticed this summer that as I watched my friend's Snapchat stories if felt left out, even when I saw events that I could not have possibly gone to. I realized that this wasn't the purpose of social media. It was supposed to help me connect with friends, not feel isolated. So I decided to cut Snapchat stories out of my daily routine. At first it was diffcilt to miss out on seeing my friends' daily lives. But soon I realized that I was happier for not knowing every litteldetail. I started focusing more on my own life and what I was doing, while still being able to keep in touch with people over different forms of social media. Pushing myself thto give up a habit that was popular but also toxic showed me that there is such a thing as oversharing and giving up that part of culture can lead to a happier life.
More on Odyssey
BEST OF Lifestyles