What's Behind The Curtain?
Updated: Mar 11
Many of us have at least one Social Media account. A lot of us post several times a day. Some of us spend hours a day scrolling through their timelines. A few of us use it to boost their business by trying to generate an interest. Some just play games and others share everything!
Can you remember what it was like before "Social" Media? You know, the time when people actually used to communicate and talk, face to face or over the phone? The idea that you could reconnect or stay in touch with people from school or work is actually a really nice one and Friends Reunited (RIP) was a great way of doing that. Then along comes this big blue giant and stamps social niceties into oblivion. Suddenly people have found a new way to share opinions instantly. There's a shiny new toy that combines the best of Flickr, Friends Reunited and ICQ (remember that one?!) and people get hooked!
People are able to hide behind their computers and post for the whole world to see. They can be as controversial as they like and as rude as they like because they aren't gonna get a punch in the face for saying it out loud! If someone posts a comment on their post that they don't like, they can just bury their head in the sand and stop comments...or delete the post as if it never existed...or more likely start a bun fight which will invariably start hurling insults and names.
A lot of us have been there I'm sure where we have taken to the keyboard late at night after a crappy day and just vented our spleen and yes it makes us feel better for a moment. But is it really the sort of thing you want to be telling everyone? Yes, you can delete the offending post and you can stop people sharing - but you can't stop people copying and pasting!
On the other side of the coin is the "Posts of Perfection". The posts of a happy couple, a lovely meal, a fantastic party. These are posts that aren't reality...these are posts showing the best of people which is encouraging this endemic of making comparisons, after all who wants to see the mundane boring stuff? You look at your friend with their shiny new car and are bitterly reminded of your old banger. You see a party but realise that it's one to which you weren't invited. You see a picture of a cake someone made and realise just how woeful your attempts are. I could go on, but I think you're getting the picture.
The advent of social media has meant that our personal insecurities come to surface because we're expected to treat life like a competition. Newsflash! Life is not a competition. It doesn't matter how big your house is. It doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank. It doesn't matter what kind of car you have. If you have a roof over your head - you're lucky! If you have some money in the bank (even pennies) you're lucky. If you have a car to get you around about, you're lucky! Yes, we all have dreams and goals and some us want a bigger house, a better car or a bit more money...but are we being grateful for what we already have or is social media clouding our senses and encouraging continual comparisons and judgment.
Fashion exists because fashion companies tell us it does. Things become vogue because they are preying on the need to belong. They are encouraging everyone to compare themselves with each other. They are fuelling the nature of wanting. The stupid thing is that people don't seem to realise that they're paying huge amounts of money to advertise these companies for them!
Here's a challenge for you - rather than sharing your political views, a news story, a virus warning (which is normally a hoax anyway) - post positive posts! If you can't resist sharing a doom and gloom story or sharing an angry opinion, counteract that with three positive, happy posts for each negative one! Bad news sells, we know this to be true. The media has made us into a society of paranoid, negative junkies looking for the next sensationalistic story. The stories are rarely wholly accurate and yet people buy into it all the time - making themselves and everyone around them miserable while making the media even richer.
Think about it this way. Why do we end up with Presidents or Prime Ministers that it would seem the majority of people don't actually want? It's because rather than talking about what they DO want, they are talking about what they DON'T want. Whatever you put out there comes back to you tenfold. So start talking about what you DO want! Also, the more you share these stories the more news coverage they're gonna get because even if your intention is to ridicule them or state how much you despise them...the fact you're sharing is keeping their name in the news and people's minds!
Don't get me wrong there are lots of great things about social media. It helps local communities and projects advertise their shows, products or services. It does help people reunite and stay connected. But sadly all too often it's doom gloom and negativity.
Post positive! Share a happy, funny, uplifting picture or story. Don't try and compete and get back to basics. Find out what your core values are. Think about what you really want from life. Think about why you're posting something on social media but more importantly enjoy YOUR life and don't worry about what other people are thinking of you (more on that little gem in a future blog).