Instagram has become an outing for many people right now, when most of us are isolated. Growing up in an era of social media sets a different kind of pressure on teens. It has the power to influence an individual into behaving in a certain manner or even being friends with a particular group of people. To be human means that you are persuadable in every single moment, it doesn’t matter what age you are or what personality type you have: the information you expose yourself to has the power to influence you!
We are all vulnerable to social approval, when an individual uploads a post and notices likes and comments of an audience that includes their friends, acquaintances and strangers our brain releases a chemical called Dopamine and its the exact same chemical that gets released when we smoke, drink or gamble. Now we have a generation that has access to a mind numbing chemical called dopamine just because we are addicted to seek temporary relief on social media.
Will the same people who have commented on your latest post be there to give you a hug or comfort when you need it? Or defend you on Instagram when a controversy is headed your way? Are we kind on social media or even in real life?
A glimpse of it is witnessed by all of us when we see the people who post kindness quotes on their main account tend to upload a berating or hateful post about someone on their private accounts.
Are we really those promising kind, young individuals who will be there for you in real life that we tend to be on social media? I have known so many people promoting LGBTQ on their Instagrams and in real life when someone in the circle comes out- Most of those people treat their identity as gossip instead of actually going to them in real life and appreciating it.
Raise your hands if you have known anybody complimenting someone on Instagram and bad mouthing the same person in a private chat or in real life. Why are we promoting so much fake love and accepting it?
We are so good at Instagram, we’re good at putting filters on everything. We are so good at showing on our feed how good and smart we are. Yeah maybe most of us are just for show!
Is Instagram the new mask we put on our faces?
Instagram is a facade of people’s lives. It is incredible to see how much value society places into social media which if placed in our real day to day life we would come out to be as ten times better individuals. People can be going through depression, dealing with the nastiest abuse and struggling with actual difficulties in life but these real life events never seem to transcend the ‘picture perfect’ image of people on social media.
The danger of slipping too far into a virtual world where the inner values we should hold as human beings are just for show on our phone screens and in a constant battle with our real self, real life and real priorities, who are we deceiving really? The world or ourselves?
The irony of it is we can see it all happening every moment - to our friends, parents cousins and to us but we do not know how to stop it.
Connectivity that Instagram provides us is so beneficial but only if we knew how to use it in limits and in a productive way instead of exploiting it. The self that we are constructing on social media should define our authentic self rather than one engaging in what’s trending, otherwise how do we ever expect the people we meet on Instagram to be real when we ourselves are not promoting it? Young people are constantly comparing themselves to teen models and filtered body images, if you have any younger sibling who’s active on insta you might notice how your sibling is emotionally maturing faster.
In today’s times there’s a constant need for early adults to guide the younger generation about the positive and negative aspects on social media and promote positive behaviour themselves. Form an identity that doesn’t look appealing just on your profile but in person as well. Choose yourself because you do your personality and our generation which already has been provided with the good and the bad actually has the power to do better and be a game changer!
Only if we invest the same amount of time in actually connecting with ourselves by writing or doing something that we love like painting and not ‘post it’ instead of scrolling on our phones or just go volunteer at an NGO rather than posting about helping the needful. Only if we spend more time on helping rather than selling!
Our worth is not measures in likes, comments, notes or followers but in out ability to love, care, keep comments to ourselves and truly support what we really believe in.