Social media has transformed us into a delusional group of people. We have allowed our social media “friends” to narrate our lives, determining how we should look, live and lie. While busy trying to prove we are living life to the fullest, individuals can’t even live in the moment. We post our every waking move on social media, and some of us have found a way to post while sleeping. How can you say you are appreciating your vacation or enjoying the party that is “fire” if you spend the entire time snapping and posting pictures? When did you have time to savor the moment, between picture number 35 and post number 73? Why is letting the world know what you are doing every minute more important than delighting in the hour? Social media has been a great resource for reconnecting, having the opportunity to live vicariously through others and even getting incredible suggestions for things one might be interested in doing. But don’t let it consume you to the point of letting happiness depend on the number of likes. That is why we post right, for the likes? Caution yourself on some of the hazards you are really putting on display when you are constantly advertising your liveliness. Ask yourself a few questions before making the next 998 posts.
- “How can I really enjoy myself if I am capturing and reporting an entire event?” Try posting a few pictures at the beginning of an event or during a quiet moment and save the rest for later. Use one of those snappy captions you see so often such as “Last Night’s Shenanigans”, “Late Post” or “About Last Night”, and post all 100 of your remaining pictures AFTER you have had a great time. Broadcasting all of your excitement later doesn’t change the experience.
- “What do my posts say about me?” I know, I know, you don’t care, so you say. But if your social media pages define who you are, what does it suggest to others? Are you the party animal? Are you the girl with the big butt and a smile? Are you the fitness guru? If your social media accounts had to stand and speak at your funeral, would you appreciate what they had to say?
- “How impersonal have I become because of social media?” Are you inboxing the same friends you would have called three years ago? Have you found yourself losing “real” friends because there is a deeper connection with “cyber” friends? Are you the next “Social Media Sensation”?
- “Is this post intimate?” Are all of the people in your posts in agreement with being on display? Do they all have social media accounts? Would your significant other have preferred the picture not be posted? Was it posted on their personal page? Pay attention to what your peers and loved ones are sharing. If posts never mirror your significant other, reconsider posting what might be private and personal moments for them.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have served a great need. They have allowed us to connect with associates we lost contact with over the years. Social media has been used to make new acquaintances that have helped enhance our abilities and focus to do great things. They have been used as a platform to advertise business endeavors and upcoming opportunities. However, it has also led many of us to the road of denial through the pretense of perfections; we have started to overlook our flaws and neglect meeting the needs of others. Some situations are still designed to be private. There are things that are intended to be personal and should be handled in a careful and deliberate manner away from social media. Social media is definitely entertaining, but please make sure you are not overstepping boundaries in an effort to become the next “Social Media Sensation”.