Over the years, social media has seen some crazy transformation and while at it growing like wildfire. Remember when were all new to Facebook? Or when we barely knew our way around twitter and our first messages would read something like “hello world.” Well, we’re now almost experts in not only those, but many other platforms that a few years back would have left us frustrated – the instagram, linked in, pinterest of this world.
Gone are the days that we would use social media to just connect with our friends and family or because it’s something fun, that brings us some joy as we get to interact with people from all walks of life – strangers. We’ve now evolved to using it as a tool to obtain validation from others, giving in to the notion that likes and follows determine how influential or important one is to the society, from people to brands. Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s now the way of life to some. I say to some, because that only works in the social media world, only the people on it would understand that concept of followers, likes and such. While to others it could be a waste of precious time, to others it’s become a way of life.
“Like what’s that one thing you consistently do when you start your day, in the course of the day and at the end of the day? Did you just check your notifications? ”
Sometimes, it’s good to play observer and see what goes around you, because chances are that you’re just like the people around you. In as much as you want to poke a finger and say “these people are like that and like this.” And from my observation, it’s ridiculous the power that social media gives the person behind the screens. When social media informs your personality that the character you portray when you interact with people face-to-face (offline) is different from the one you portray when you are interacting with people as you type away on your keypad (online). In my opinion, social media is just a platform – what you do on it, is still a proper reflection of who you are and what kind of person you are.
“I’m not God to judge. But I’m human; I have that knack judge you by your updates. Yes, you’re what you tweet.”
The most amazing thing however, is not even the personality bit. That’s understandable, because I mean, these people who follow you don’t even know you from a personal level. Most, if not all are simply strangers and acquaintances. It’s happened a couple of times, that you follow someone online and you know them to be crazy-bananas online, but then you meet them offline some day and you can’t believe how absolutely laid back they are. I’m not one to hide, as I pick my jaw from the floor,“but you’re so different online?”
I digress. The most amazing thing is the fact that we tend to look for validation on social media. With its growth and versatility, these platforms are giving us that space to share almost every bit of our lives with others, from what we’re up to, what we think and feel, our opinions in the form of words and photo’s. Others who are not family or friends, just acquaintances or strangers, others who matter, but really don’t when you’re looking at those intricate things that make you up. You know you’re looking for validation the moment you let other people;
- Define who you are,
- Dictate what you should feel,
- Opinions of you influence what you think of yourself,
- Comment and make you think or feel less of yourself,
- Make you feel like you’re not cool, because their way is the cool way and not yours.
Looking for validation in the wrong places is the main foundation of internet bullying and the reason it actually works. Because someone somewhere sat behind a screen and decided, that’s how they’ll derive pleasure, and we went ahead and let them. What we don’t realize, is that most internet bullies are the most timid and sad people you’ll ever meet. That’s why if someone abused me online, I wouldn’t give a shit about it. Mainly because I don’t know who’s behind that screen. It could be some bored guy at the local cyber hiding behind their misfortune and using social media to boost their ego. I mean, that’s why bullying would never be that serious to me.
Imagine you’re in the basketball court (Social Media). You’re a player (Social Media User) and the ball (thoughts and feelings), which is basically your life, is in your hands. The moment you pass it on to another player i.e. the moment you give other people power to validate you, that’s the moment you start losing out. As long as the ball is in your hands, you keep moving, keep trying, and keep scoring. You’re your own best validator. You can listen to others and take feedback to better yourself, but don’t let them take control of you, always be in control of your thoughts and feelings. Know that you’re just as powerful/influential as the person you follow or who follows you – and so is what you’re saying or doing.
I just felt that we use social media so much as a sales and marketing tool for personalities and brands that we forget that the people that use it also get carried away in trying to be that model social media user – to be influential, to be followed, to be liked, to be what’s deemed “cool” by the “cool gang.” But I mean, it’s all just but a fad, you’re more long-term. Honestly, just be yourself and you’ll get your way around better and in so much peace, you don’t have to conform to anyone or anything and especially on Social Media.
Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*