I’m having a bit of a hard time with social media lately and I can’t exactly put my finger on why. Or maybe I can, actually – it doesn’t take much to notice the fickle and narcissistic nature social media platforms have slowly transformed into; which is why currently, I’m having a bit of a love/hate relationship with it all. Is it just me who feels this way every time I log on?
I’ve never always had such strong feelings about it. In fact, back in the day, it revolutionised the way we connected – or rather, reconnected – with people we would have otherwise lost touch with. It was sensational to be able to catch up with friends who would otherwise have become strangers; to become privy to the glow ups and transformations – and even the lives of old school friends and family who had moved abroad became more accessible with the click of a button. We got to share blurry and un-curated pictures of our dirty faced kids in mismatched outfits and everyone swooned with little to no (public) outcries and judgement. We got to rant and vent about our miniscule problems to the limited circle of people we actually knew, and everyone rallied in with encouraging words and humorous anecdotes that made life’s hardships a little bit lighter. It was a fantastic tool for rekindling lost connections and rejoicing at those bullets we managed to dodge;-) and it was a great step in the right direction for transforming the way we socialise.
But over the course of the years, things have evolved at a rapid rate. Social media has metamorphosed into a larger than life platform with little to no rules.
At first, everything seemed to be headed in the right direction. People sharing their real life experiences made one feel less isolated. We were no longer hiding behind our suburban white picket fences – we were emerging from them with our very own truths – our battle scars of motherhood and marriage, our weight woes and victories, and balancing the pendulum between work and life. We shared our lives honestly and unapologetically.
The emergence of Blogs and other online platforms further broadened our way of communicating and sharing our lives and innermost struggles and thoughts. No longer were we relying on paperback publications to tell us what’s on trend and what body type was newly in fashion (remember the slogan “Strong is the new skinny”?). People who actually looked like us were slowly starting to dictate the narrative! Motherhood was portrayed through the lens of people actually living through the shit storm, instead of via a clinical list of how to survive the tortuous and tormenting first few
months years. Short, tall, skinny, curvy…single, married, parenthood and infertility struggles…If we didn’t feel like we were being represented before, we certainly were now, and it was refreshing and inspiring to see the every day man on the street finally getting recognised and given a voice.
Over time, social media morphed into more than just a place to share pretty outfits and makeup tutorials. It became a place to have more serious discussions too. With various news publications slowly starting to embrace online homes, serious global social issues and international headlines gained the traction it properly deserved by becoming more easily accessible and readily available to everyone; and more and more people became vocal about social injustices!
Fast forward a couple of years and social media further evolved to become a nifty tool for businesses and advertising, and who can blame them really. With so many people spending more and more time online, it seemed like a natural progression. Home owned businesses particularly benefited from this development resulting in a thriving home industry market boom. So what am I complaining about exactly?
You know what…Maybe social media isn’t the problem. Maybe I am. It’s not that I don’t like it at all…really, I do. I really do value and appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating good, quality content and I love sharing parts of my journey here too. It’s just that so much has changed since it took the world by storm close to two decades ago, and I’m not sure I’ve evolved in quite the same way. We went from sharing candid moments of our every day lives; to curating images to fit “our feed”. We started putting filters on our pictures; and then we started putting filters on our lives and now almost everything we see is commercialised. If we’re not selling something, then we’re selling our opinions; and if we’re not selling our opinions, then we’re standing on our soapboxes, while hiding behind our screens and keypads dishing them out to strangers for free! We’re living in a time where everyone wants to be a someone and in the process we’re losing touch with reality.
Where we once found comfort in the familiarity of shared experiences and echoed sentiments, we’re now observers of all things orchestrated and theatrical. Slowly but surely the line between our Instagram lives and reality has become completely blurred and obscured and the internet has turned into this monstrosity we can no longer contain…and I think the real problem for me is that, as this platform has grown and given many people room to thrive, the little man has started to lose their voice and become invisible once again.
So I’m not asking for much, really. I’m just standing on a limb here…putting my words out there and humbly asking everyone to go back to being real <3
Thanks for reading!