Impact of social media in our lives

Is social media really the reason we are not as connected to each other anymore? Is it the reason we have poor postures? Is media the reason we believe what we believe or is it lack of communication and our fear of rejection that is really creating this disconnect?

How often have you found yourself dismissing someone else’s statement or beliefs because “they don’t really know [me].” If we are connected through the internet and social media platforms, why do we feel so disconnected? If we are in charge of our thoughts and actions, can we truly blame a third party — social media, in this case — with our lack of personal connection with others?

I recently started noticing the number of details we divulge on our social media accounts. The “it’s not real unless it’s on Facebook” joke sometimes eerily feels real. I’m sure you knew families in the brink of separation yet looked ‘perfect’ on their profile picture.

Take a moment. Take a deep breath and look at that picture. What is it really saying to you? To me, it highlights the hierarchy that society functions on and this is just another tool to emphasize it.  It is no different than a parent embellishing his/her child’s achievement to boost their own ego. It is categorizing events in either “good or bad” categories rather than looking at it as part of your memory. Somehow, we took this tool that was meant to be used to enhance our connection and instead has made it part of a weapon to hurt ourselves and others.

We say to not keep up with the Joneses but how do we do that when they are just so freakin’  PERFECT!?!?!

  1.     Remember that we pose for pictures.
  •      We train children, even babies, to “say cheese” from an extremely early age. We are programmed to record those memories as happy moments regardless of the turmoil we are experiencing.
  1.     Connect with others, not just showcase yourself
  •      Use social media for what the purpose was- connect and celebrate the relationships we have. We can reconnect with friends or family we lost and keep up with (at times) day to day experiences. It allows us just enough distance yet allow others to peek into our lives.
  1.     Accountability
  •      Our words and actions, online or face to face, have consequences. We are more vocal regarding our views online but the true character of a person is also shown by the compassion and maturity they show to strangers online as we may not ever see the impact of our words in person.  
  1.     Moderation
  •      Remember that balance is the key here! To lose weight, we have to balance between healthy diet and exercise; similarly, continue to find ways to appreciate the real-life moments around you while also advancing with technology. Technology is a tool that allows us to accomplish amazing things, but it is not the only way to the future.

With the increased number of mental health issues from online interaction, the impact of our words can’t be denied. The suggestions above may appear easy but the balance between unhealthy communication styles and deteriorating mental health issues make it difficult to stay indifferent. If you are or know someone who is impacted by unhealthy online interactions, reach out for assistance.  Let’s connect and discuss ways to take the best of both worlds- online and in person- to enhance our personal lives and mental health.

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