THE BITTERSWEET OF SOCIAL MEDIA

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One of the greatest inventions in modern time is social media – it allows people from all around the world to communicate effortlessly with each other and has changed our ways of communicating with our surroundings. Many of us are texting or sending voice messages on Whatsapp or Viber instead of calling our friends and family. Social media has even rotated our love lives as more and more people have abandoned the traditional pickup lines and way of meeting their potential partner. Online dating applications such as Tinder and Happn allows individuals to connect with each other online from their sofa by simply pressing a button on our smart phones and tablets.

One of the many elements I adore about social media is the opportunity it has given us – as we can easily connect with all kinds of people from around the world. Without social media, I wouldn´t be able to stay in contact with many of my friends or relatives living in different countries. Even though I don’t get the opportunity to visit many of them, being connected via Social media allows me to witness a glimpse of their everyday lives. Additionally,  I use social media as a source of inspiration, on a daily basis finding inspiring and creative individuals from New York to Hong Kong all the way to Colombo.

The first thing many of us do in the mornings is to grab our smart phones and check the latest updates on social media; from how many likes and comments we have received from our last post on Instagram to the latest news from all around the world. Instead of turning on the TV to see the latest news, many of us are turning to applications such as Twitter. Even brands have abandoned the traditional magazines, bill boards and TV ads to advertise their products.  Instead, today´s companies have integrated social media  Executives and Managers into their organisation to advertise their products and services and reach out to their consumer target. Even applications are being developed by brands to make the purchasing process easier for consumers. Today, online shopping has become a huge market and many brands have even deserted the physical store and instead investing in having an easy to shop website.

One aspect is unavoidable, our generation is spending more and more time online- on either our smart phones, tablets or other devices. We have developed an addiction, an urge and yearning to consistently be connected to our social media accounts – especially bloggers and influencers. These individuals have become to be today´s most significant people used by many brands to advertise their products. Bloggers and influencers are using social media as a powerful tool to connect with similar minded people from all around the world with the same interest. Consistently sharing engaging content and gaining social media engagement is the most important element for bloggers and influencers.

Social media has contributed so much to our society and our modern lives, however, there is a dark and unpleasant side of social media that many of us are unaware of. Social media has become to be a bittersweet reality for many of us and has left us sleep-deprived and depressed. The pressure of producing high-quality images, frequently purchasing new products and travelling around the world are a few examples of factors that make us feel depressed and anxious. Research shows that spending time online has a negative effect on our mental health where social media engagement is unconsciously affecting our mood and well- being. Furthermore, most people that are active on social media are, unconsciously or consciously, comparing their lives with others – which has resulted in a number of serious negative impacts on their self-esteem and well-being. As a result of this, the term social media detox has been invented where many people are taking a break from social media during the weekend, holidays or a number of days.

This post is very imported to me as I recently experienced anxiety as I felt as social media was affecting my life in a negative way. Instead of paying attention and listening to my friends and family when socialising with them, I noticed that I was unconsciously checking my phone for latest updates from my social media accounts. After a while, I realised this behaviour is not healthy and a social media detox was well needed. During my recent trip to Sweden and Denmark, I avoided posting any images on social media accounts and instead focused on spending all of my time and attention on my family and friends. I truly felt less anxious after a few days being offline and away from social media – I would recommend this to people feeling the same way. I realised that I needed to stop comparing myself to people on social media as the truth is, social media projects an unrealistic world. No one posts an unflattering image of themselves on social media – people only want to share the prettiest and happiest images and moments of their travels, outfits and other aspects of their lives. Don´t take social media so seriously and do some social media detoxing if you are experiencing anxiety. Your mental health is much more important than sharing a pretty image of yourself.

Photo by : Harriet Boyden | The look: Zara  | Sunglasses: Burberry 

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