Social media is turning into my biggest enemy.
In its most innocent form, social media can be used to connect family members who are deployed in the military. It can be used to introduce breaking scientific advancements. It can even be used to virtually give to organizations across the world.
However, a question our generation must wrestle with is: do the benefits of social media outweigh the negative repercussions?
If you are a Millennial, or even Generation Z, you have seen the negative effects of social media first-hand. Ever wish sometimes that you could re-wind the clock and take the world back to a time when no one had a smartphone in hand yet? Or go back to that time when a guy had to actually muster up enough courage to walk up and ask the girl out to dinner in person?
Sure, I could just delete all of the apps. But then it feels as if I have now disconnected myself from what is going on in the world, because everyone is on it.
That is why our lives are becoming increasingly busier. There is more to look at, more to see, more to do on a screen. If everyone collectively would decide to delete their apps, then I wouldn’t feel as if I were missing out on anything – but that will happen when pigs fly.
The fact is, every time I log on to Instagram, I find myself constantly comparing my life to those portrayed in an aesthetically pleasing profile of perfectly organized pictures with coordinating filters. I follow famous travel bloggers and dream of one day visiting the places they go. I follow famous couples and envy their love stories, also admiring how they can hire a personal photographer to follow them around, capturing the best shots of their cutest moments.
Especially within the ACU Bubble, it seems as though everyone I follow is going on trips of a lifetime every other weekend, getting engaged and truly living their best lives.
Truth be told, looking at my own life and the images I have chosen to share social media, I have posted the highlights, the highest of highs, and my biggest accomplishments.
People don’t usually post about when their family is struggling financially, or about the fight they just had with their fiancé of two weeks, or about the unexpected divorce that causes every holiday to be a nightmare. Those things happen more often than social media tells us.
We must pursue deep friendships with the people around us to understand that everyone struggles with something. No one is perfect; therefore, no one on Instagram or Facebook, etc. has the perfect life that you drool over. There is no coincidence that studies have shown an increase in depression directly related to use of social media.
This has become a serious epidemic. Worshiping the lives of people that we find on the ‘Popular’ page, instead of caring to truly get to know and walk alongside the living, breathing souls around us.
Social media is a useful tool when we use it in the right context and with good purpose. Use the tools at your finger tips to inspire creativity, encourage, and give hope.
Let us not neglect the friends who are currently occupying the same room as us at the moment. Let us commit to knowing others deeper than their 280- character Tweet. Then maybe, we will be able to see humans, instead of profiles.