Social Media: The Unconscious Obsession

The social media appeared as this magical world that came to improve our lives. In some ways, it sure did. Could you ever imagine that you would be able to connect with people from all around the world in real-time? That you could share any kind of content and have an instant reaction from a real person? I mean, it’s quite amazing, we can’t deny that. However, everything has its dark side, and social media are no different.

It’s a natural mechanism of people to seek approval of others. We tend to try to please people, in order to get that desired approval. The social media created a new environment that made us unconsciously seek approval at a wider range than we mostly get in the real world. Outside the virtual world, this behaviour seems to be more noticeable, we are more conscious about it. On social media, since we are interacting through technological devices, it feels like it’s a different world, a world detached from reality. I guess that’s probably why people feel more comfortable sharing, especially when it comes to negative thoughts. For instance, it’s noticeable how people are meaner in the virtual world. People that in the real world seem nice, on the internet assume a whole different character, capable of bullying whoever comes in the way. I guess the lack of visualization of the receptor’s reaction allied to the anonymity brought by the internet is possibly the main reason for it. Probably if you could instantly saw their reaction and your identity was clearly identified, you would think twice. Since we’re talking to a machine people tend to forget that on the other side there’s an actual human being, with real emotions. It’s not a game, whatever you do can actually have an impact on someone’s life.

Every time we share content in any kind of social media, we all expecting the same: approval. That approval may come in the form of likes, comments, shares or even views. Everything we do, we expect some kind of reaction. In one way, that can be positive, depending on your goals, the type of content you share. The problem is when the obsession starts. Whether you’re obsessed with sharing, in the reactions you might get or even both, obsession is not healthy. This obsession doesn’t lie completely on us, social media unconsciously helped to create it. Social media work just like a drug, feeding your addiction, assuming control of your life. When social media started to be a thing, I guess no one really knew the power it would get. How could someone predict the influence that social media have now? Nowadays most of us are addicted to multiple social media. Something we started for fun, ended up consuming our entire life without we even noticing it. We are completely dependent on social media and there’s no way back. We can control part of it, we can set some boundaries, but there’s a lot that doesn’t really depend on us.

The social media came and unquestionably changed our way of living, our interactions. We are getting more conscious about it, trying to make some changes, but there’s a lot we still don’t know. The full impact that social media might have is still unknown. The generations that will suffer the most with it are the ones who born already under this influence. This virtual world is shaping them from the beginning and the social consequences that will come are not fully unveiled yet.

We can’t really fight what we still don’t know, but we sure can try to improve what we know already. If we are conscious of the negative impact of social media, is up to us to try to decrease it as much as we can in our own lives. We can’t expect the world to change by himself, but we can keep making little changes in our own world and maybe, someday, the world can actually change as a whole.

Personal tips:

  • When social media are having a negative impact in your life, give yourself a break: eliminate or deactivate it for some time;
  • If someone is personally attacking you or their content is toxic to you, don’t be shy, block or silence it, it’s for your own good;
  • Try to manage the time you spent on social media and also the content you access;
  • Manage the social media apps on your phone and the notifications you receive;
  • If you’re a parent of young children, please, keep an eye on them. They’re the ones who will most suffer from the consequences and it’s up to you to try to appease them;
  • Basically, find ways that fit you to use social media in the healthiest way possible.

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A young mind full of thoughts and ideas trying to figure life. Feel free to enter my little world, make yourself at home.

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Filipa Roque

Filipa Roque

A young mind full of thoughts and ideas trying to figure life. Feel free to enter my little world, make yourself at home.

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