social Media has become the hook of interaction and action in a world that is converging on itself faster than we would like to believe.
A SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL REALITY
Social media has begun to dictate and walk alongside our life’s trajectories in a way that has started shaping our world view and opinions of ourselves and others. How one genuinely feels has become less important, as compared to how one wants others to believe one is feeling.
Society has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the need for Personal PR & Image Projection unlike any other social trend throughout the history of man.
Facebook/Social media helps us connect with long-lost friends; it’s free, it helps us organise our various social contacts, keeps us abreast of what’s happening in the lives of our friends, helps us plan events, helps us share things we like on the internet, and it helps build brands.
WHAT’S THERE TO LOSE?
Excessive time on Facebook: Spending a disproportionate time on social media and neglecting family and work commitments, because the digital world is found to be a more enjoyable virtual environment to spend time in, rather than the real world.
Social Oxygen: An almost oxygen-like dependency and obsessive need to socialise exclusively on Social Media rather investing in real relationships. When one starts benchmarking one’s social life and status depending on what one sees others do and share on their Facebook feeds, it can lead to jealousy, frustration and in some extreme cases emotional breakdowns.
Compulsive PR: This is a self-conscious and self-image related need that translates into constantly projecting a certain picture of one’s lifestyle to others. For e.g., continuously posting updates on how one’s day is progressing to show everyone else how much fun one is having. This may be an exaggeration of facts, and can often come at the cost of ‘being one with the moment’ or ‘being socially limited’ with a ‘real’ travel companion, to spend more time on social media reading people’s comments on a certain moment or photo you have posted.
Status Update Anxiety: Feelings of anxiety, nervousness or guilt that are related to not ‘updating’ one’s status update. For e.g., continuously posting updates on how one’s day is progressing, and even while being in the bathroom.
Stalkers: These are people who become so obsessed, and enamoured or intrigued with the lives of others, that they spend all their time on the internet browsing through the profiles and lives of other people or a certain target.
Online Flirting: Using social media for casual romantic fumbles and to have casual affairs on the side with no real intention of commitment, but for the sole purpose of sexual or emotional release. For e.g., a married man chats with his wife’s best-friend on Facebook and starts developing feelings for her based on his continued interaction with her.
Trolls: People who enjoy raking up controversial issues and who use strong, aggressive, and sometimes abusive language to pick fights and to stir up a debate because they enjoy being a part of conflict and pandemonium.
Social Media addiction has started being recognised as an acute and perennial vexation by psychologists and counsellors, which though not fully medically recognised, has started becoming an emotional nightmare for all those who are unable to live life without some downtime on Facebook.
Those who have started compromising their sleep, time, dreams and are jeopardising their relationships and personal well-being to simply get their ‘fix’ of Facebook/Instagram, need to do some serious thinking on what it is that constitutes a healthy and balanced life.
And, if the above symptoms are true for you, you’re probably addicted to virtual world.
Apart from the ensuing idle or unproductive behaviour, this obsession and addiction has become a very real phenomenon which can be dealt with in a few simple ways.
DETOX AND REHAB
Spend time with real people: This means attending events, investing time in a hobby, meeting friends and spending time outdoors.
Kill those apps: You can also alternatively delete the app from your smartphone if it’s taking up too much of your time.
Time budgeting: Limit online use for an hour or less. Set an alarm or download a productivity app that helps you keep track of how much time you are spending online.
Stay clear of the screen: Read a book, take a walk, call a friend, walk your dog, clean your room, get fit, write something, take a nap, watch a movie, listen to music, but stay away from the computer screen or tablet at all costs.
Deactivate your account: In a worst case scenario, consider this as virtual Detox, where you go off social media for a while before you come back.
Addictions of any kind lead to psychological and physical dependencies in the absence of which one begins to feel weighed down and unfulfilled at a very core emotional level. Use Facebook to empower your brand and to enhance your life, but like all tools, moderation and a deep understanding of technology and yourself, can either help you rise to successes or bog you down with emotional baggage and small talk that can often lead to unimaginable bigger and more permanent scars.
use it! Or you can lose it!