Better Update Your Profile...

Lately, I have really tried to take a break from social media and my phone. I just feel like if this pandemic has taught me anything, it's that my life is precious and I only have so much time on this Earth, so why waste it staring at a screen? 

However, for a lot of other people, now more than ever feels like the ideal time to be on social media—sharing, connecting, posting, interacting. 

In the past, I have viewed social media as a thorny rose. It can seem beautiful and appealing at times, but getting too close leads to injury. I try to live by the tenet that too much of anything is never good, and my apprehensive perception of social media is based upon that. Social media by nature is designed to make us want more; once you get on the ride you never seem able to get off. 

Since the start of quarantine and the global pandemic that took our world by storm, I have noticed a radical change in the way we use social media. I’m still unsure as to whether this change is positive or negative, but either way, it seems to clear to me that it exists.

Lately, people seem to use social media in a much more casual fashion. They post pictures that they might never normally post, they share details about their personal lives, and they seem to care less about the content that they're putting out into the world.

woman smilingPart of me thinks that this is kind of a beautiful way to utilize social media. No editing apps, no camera angles, no perfect lighting—just us, as humans, sharing our personal experiences from across the globe; attempting to connect with one another in hopes of communicating that we are not alone in what we feel right now. I admire this deeply, and viewed in this way, I think that this is kind of a beautiful use of social media. 

On the other hand, I feel as if the increased sharing of our lives makes people feel constant anxiety to keep up with the Joneses. I have been feeling this way a lot lately. I can’t help but feel like everyone is just trying to out-do each other in some unspoken competition to get the most views, the most followers, the most likes. 

Girls in the sunsetI also feel alarmed by the weight social media bears these days. A person could put out content, get millions of views, and by doing this instantly shoot to fame or do wonders for their career. Living through a time like this has instilled within me a terrifying, constant, and persistent sense of anxiety and pressure. I always feel like I should be doing, posting, responding, achieving. As someone who wants a career in the entertainment industry, sometimes I feel behind if I’m not utilizing the social media resources I have at hand to somehow “get ahead.” It's quite frankly, tiring. Sometimes I just want to feel like an 18-year-old, and with social media, that can feel impossible. It just always feels like there's something I should be doing that I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that thanks to social media and technology, my dreams of working in the entertainment industry are that much easier to achieve. Never before could we connect with people the way and create content the way we do today. My aspirations seem less impossible because of this, and I acknowledge that with a sense of gratitude. Yet, sometimes it’s all just exhausting. Trying to keep up, trying to be this person, putting on a facade when social media doesn’t even graze the surface of conveying who someone is.

A large part of me is grateful for social media, especially in times like these. We can provide each other with hope, share the little things that get us through the day, and inspire one another to do better and be better. Yet, I also wonder, what would things be like without it all? Would things be more peaceful? Would it being gone stifle all the noise? Maybe that’s exactly what scares us most—the quiet, the stillness.

In the silence, we’d be forced to face our true selves. Would you like who you are?


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