I got Facebook in the spring of 2011. I was a freshman in high school. The days of MySpace had just died, and the livelihood of Facebook status updates comprised entirely of song lyrics among my social media network of friends was particularly relevant.
At the age of fourteen, I understood social media as an easy way to update people on the important happenings of your life. Now, at the age of twenty-three, I can see social media is digressing and feeding our newfound need for immediate gratification in the form of widespread social acceptance and the hope of free things (by way of becoming an influencer) and fame.
Social media has become this invisible goal of attaining more attention, this smoke and mirrors illusion that leaves us empty and unfulfilled until the next big thing takes place. Instagram gives us the illusion that our daily lives are important. It allows us to compare ourselves against the curated images that people portray themselves as.
Social media is not inherently bad. It’s a great way to catch up with people, share hilarious memes, and maintain healthy long-term friendships and relationships in a convenient medium. However, the way that people use it, the way that we use it, and the nature of the circumstances, breed fears of inequities among each of us as we are being influenced by ideas that were never fully true, to begin with.
I am genuinely scared of where our generations will take social media, influencer marketing, and the destructive comparative nature of virtual one-upping people.
The only way to fix that potential nightmare is to have wholesome social media with the collective mindset that projection does not always equate to reality. Comparison is the thief of joy. Continue sharing memes and everything will be alright, right? *subdued monotone anxious screaming* (always make sure to credit your meme makers)