Of the mirage called Social Media

I considered de-activating my Facebook today, along with Instagram. The problem is not my time spent on social media, but the posts being thrown at me. My ‘suggested pages’ are full of influencers who seem to be drowning in brand new shiny things and enticing followers with the same idea. It ain’t good enough if it ain’t new and shiny enough. But better sense prevailed once common sense hit me in the face again. I need my social media active for the dog rescue work, if nothing else. Also, for a little bit of my own vanity, you know, right? And how it affects me, should ideally be in my hands(easier said than done!)

As a person with wavering self-esteem and social anxiety, ‘influencers’ can stress me out easily. From innocently surfing their feeds with honest appreciation, I find myself going down the dark path of feeling like setting my closet on fire. If I don’t have anything new every single time, it should not be the end of the world. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the exponents of minimalist living coming up with some bestsellers, and if I follow them, it wouldn’t take me long to fall into the depressed state of ‘why I don’t have ANYTHING?!’ So basically, in either situation, minimalism or materialism, I don’t have anything, and I am the end loser.

In a similar vein, travelogues and travel posts are having the same effect on me, where my life feels simply not exciting enough. Imtiaz Ali has done no favors to the middle class youth by making movies that glorify giving up everything and making #wanderlust the in thing. ‘Not all those who wander are lost’ is so overused that J. R. R. Tolkien must be cringing, from the beyond! I don’t want to depress people by launching into a tirade about my overly practical head and the constant turbulence of responsibilities and duties, so I just shrug and let it go. Situations aren’t the same for everyone, and so aren’t priorities.

Should I be jealous of the person, who is always out and about and has a g-astronomically gorgeous feed of choicest cuisines and craft drinks? I feel like I am not living up the best days of my life if I am not exploring every nook and cranny of the town, when I see a stunning picture of a cocktail against a very instagrammable mosaic wall. I may be whiling away my weekdays on my couch watching crap TV when I should be spending dough on the best looking Buddha Bowl. On the other hand, I may actually be saving myself some cash and energy and could perhaps be actually happy, but that’s not the point.

It’s easy to assume that someone’s beautiful FB/Insta feed is actually their entire life. That all the pictures showcased and curated aren’t just a part, but the entirety of their existence. That gorgeous face shining through the filtered sunlight in the trendy lace dress, might be covering up some anxiety that I may have assumed to never exist. The beautiful blue sea in throwback picture may be a disguise for uncertainty in the future. There is a reason why everyone’s feed looks and feels happy, joyous and enviable. We never know what is going on behind someone’s perfect life. It could really be wonderful, or could be a mirage that we are running towards, cursing our own life in process. I need to keep reminding myself, that moments of life cannot be forcefully created and curated. Every picture, should have a memory and a story. The story could be totally personal that maybe puts a smile on your face, or makes you tear up with nostalgia. But it’s yours to keep.

After all, why should I let anyone else have the power to influence me into believing that my life sucks? I am more than enough for that. 😉

20 thoughts on “Of the mirage called Social Media

  1. Great observation.
    On social media we compare our internal life with other people’s external life and this is what makes us miserable.

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  2. OK, OK I’ll cut back on posting about my lavish life style and travels to the most exotic parts of the world. I didn’t want to cause this turbulence in your mind. I suppose that rampant yearnings for consumerism fade as we become content with our lives. I say suppose because I can’t remember that far back. That thought (not the part about age) can lead to further philosophical ramblings, but you’re not likely to hear them from me. What was I talking about?

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    • Haha! But I want to know more about you!! I agree with you that with age and experience, emotionally we become more stable and harder to get influenced. That’s why it is harder for teens and young adults because this bombardment of consumerism is doing so much harm to their already fragile minds.

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  3. Social media can be full of hypocrites what with the latest travel pictures and it shows a dearth of security and wedge in personal relationships. The last time an ‘author’ sent me a request and minutes after invite to like his page. I immediately unfriended him after that. I am not on Insta and dunno bout how it works but will go off FB for a month to keep my sanity. I’ve been doing it for the past six years. Nah! That shouldn’t make you feel like shit and trust me you better off without the over-glamorized travel shots

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  4. true:) but having lived about half my life without any social media I’m not so influenced by anything. however i did de-digitize earlier this year and now stick to just a couple of apps… the sheer noise is overwhelming at times!

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  5. I hear you. I am off Facebook for a couple of months now. Even before that I never used to post anything. Instagram app, I just recently started using, but again I am on and off and have now uninstalled it. I just search for a few user’s profile and check their updates once in while. At least this way I am not down the rabbit hole spending insane amount of time on instagram.

    I think these social media apps/consumerism make life difficult especially for females. We somehow feel this pressure to look perfectly put together all the time and if I did that, I would probably be spending insane amount of money on stuff that wouldn’t make me happy after a while.

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    • Every night, I go to bed at certain time and then spend more than ‘just a few minutes’ on mundane stuff on Insta. It’s terrible!
      I totally agree with your second paragraph. This pressure to look perfect and go to perfect places and have perfect looking food is insane. It’s okay to have less than stellar looking everything, as long as it gives joy and comfort. (Have to repeat this to myself quite a few times,lol)

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  6. I am your witness (10 years running) and can tell you, you and your life are both picturesque. You do it WHILE having a full time job. Honestly, your supposed “influencers” could learn a thing or two about capriciousness from you. That’s harder to learn than the perfect eyeliner, i must say.

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  7. You could very well be my twin 😅 Happily off Facebook since the last two years, and planning on dumping insta soon as well.

    The ‘effects’ of social media on us- couldn’t agree more. I f’ing hate the travel/food shit. My work requires extensive travel and there are strict instructions from ‘above’ not to post even a picture 😄 Epidemic😎 JRR Tolkien😂

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  8. Ha you may never know how your posts are influencing others and making them envious of all that you have got 🙂 Ever thought of that? Hehe… As a bystander, I think you have a great life, I love following your IG for a regular dose of vicarious fun 🙂

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