07 Mar The Social Media Shift – What Our Lives Have Come To
How many times has this happened to us?
We walk into a restaurant, meet someone for the first time, exchange pleasantries, and at the back of our minds think, “I’ve stalked you several times on Instagram but let’s just pretend I haven’t shall we?” We therefore proceed to pretend that we haven’t stalked their glorious selfies for days while they share about what they do, the things they’re passionate about, and what they like to do, all of which you are already aware of because the person (surprise, surprise!) also has Twitter.
For people who aren’t on social media, the whole shebang might seem a bit odd but this is the reality that we live in today. We are the social media generation and what Friendster innocently started almost ten years ago has ballooned into the greatest phenomenon our social lives have seen in quite some time. Today, people who aren’t on social media are considered to be shady (Ay, walang Instagram si Kuya, kahit Facebook, siguro he has ten side chicks) and believe me when I say that many relationships (both romantic and platonic) have thrived and died because of social media.
In its most simplistic terms, social media is intended to make lives easier. With one click, we are able to share our lives through our photos, personal thoughts, and even our likes. Social media has opened up possibilities that were previously not possible before and for that, I am grateful.
However, at the same time, it has also opened a Pandora’s Box of challenges. For one thing, it’s easier to be a predator these days and has become more difficult to be a teenager and a human being in general.
Many have argued that social media has encouraged people to live double lives, meaning that they try to make their lives appear perfect through the many filters and angles. Social media has also become an avenue of seeing which one of us have been living better lives. Aminin na natin, we sometimes use social media to prove to the people who used to be in our lives that we’re better off. And this is where the pressure begins.
Do we lead double lives because of it? Are we constantly on “image” mode because of the life we portray online?
I’d like to believe that social media has also shifted the way we date. If before we used to rely on phone calls and text messages to let us know that we’re liked, now our papansin has gone to entirely different levels. We should be following each other on Instagram with likes or comments or else you’re probably not serious with me. Come to think of it, medyo baliw lang diba? I’ve also heard stories about couples breaking up because of who one follows on social media (seryoso, what is your relationship built on?).
Have we really diminished ourselves and our self worth based on a few likes? Have we abused how we used social media? Do we do things out of the desire to have something to post?
Most importantly, are we being authentic? These are just a few things to ponder on and hopefully change the way we perceive things. Or better yet, is time to put down our phones and get to know someone in real time? That maybe we should let down the filters, the angles, and our guards, and just be our authentic selves because in truth that’s all the world needs anyway.