I still remember the day I made a Twitter account. I was a sophomore in high school, and my mom finally allowed me to create one. Why she was so hesitant to let me make one in the first place was always grounds for argument. Yet, I still remember the excitement of exploring the app, tweeting stupid things that I can still access via Timehop, and following all of my favorite celebrities. Almost five years later, I barely use the app, as I’m too busy keeping up with all of my other social media outlets.
There are so many implications that come with the ever-booming enigma that is social media. For example, it’s not crazy to claim that we all have a social media persona. Like hey, I’m not for pretending I’m someone else, but when I look at my social media profile, whether it is Facebook or Instagram, my output says something about me. It’s a way for you to give others a way to view your life. It’s a way for us to show others the people we hang out with, the people we date, the people we party with, the things we do for fun, and how spectacular (or not) our lives are. To say it’s deceptive would be accurate, to say it can damage self-esteem would likewise be accurate, yet those are separate arguments.
The main takeaway here is that social media, at least for me, has become a chore. While I do love to post photos on Instagram or share my Odyssey articles on my Facebook profile, I can’t deny the fact that I feel obligated to keep up with it. If I spend a day or two without scrolling through my numerous newsfeeds, I feel a wave of anxiety. It’s overwhelming when you realize how much you (supposedly) missed. I feel guilty if my friends posted photos that I didn’t “like,” or if my best friend, who is currently studying abroad, reached out to me via Facebook Messenger and I didn’t reply. The track of social media is moving fast- and we can either opt in or out.
However, it’s clear that social media’s reach is not limited to double tapping our friends’ photos on Instagram. At my internship this summer, I realized that social media likewise has a grip on companies as well. They too must keep up with the momentum of social media if they wish to survive and stay relevant. LinkedIn, likewise falling under the umbrella of social media, is now means for future employers to seek out applicants. In this day in age, no one can deny the grasp social media has on us. However, sometimes its grip can be overwhelming.
Ultimately, every night before I fall asleep, I find myself checking up on my social media outlets. The fact that this is the last thing I do right before I go to bed indicates its grip on me. I would encourage people to unplug, and myself included. However, while it’s appealing, I can’t help but mention that once reconnected, the anxiety of getting up to speed would be excruciating. So for now, I remain connected to survive, although I’m still not convinced how healthy that is.