A woman says, “I have been married for more than a decade, but my spouse rarely brought me out. I’m so envious seeing couples going out together and posting their private moments on social media.” If social media has a similar impact on you, perhaps you need to rethink whether spending time scrolling its pages should remain a part of your daily repertoire.
Is social media good for us? The quick answer: Yes and No. IG and TikTok, for example, have helped entrepreneurs get back on their feet post-pandemic. Throughout the Covid era, small businesses were struggling to keep afloat by paying their staff reduced wages or restructuring their bank loans. Post-Covid, entrepreneurs with small budgets post photos and videos of their offerings which are then viewed by potential customers who need such goods. LinkedIn, another social media platform, helps headhunters connect with skilled professionals who, in turn, need to secure jobs for a better life. A helping hand to revive the economy.
But nobody says that only businesses may post on social media. We see a proliferation of personal photos and videos that are open to interpretation depending on who the viewer is. Some of these photos and videos may have a negative effect on viewers. A mother struggling with postpartum depression scrolling IG might see videos of other mothers with what appears to be perfect make-up, big smiles, showing off their healthy babies in what seems to be spotless homes. Quite likely, it will make this struggling mother develop doubts on herself. “Why can’t I handle it as well as them?”, “Is there something wrong with me?”.
Surfing social media can easily become a compulsion, a distraction from the real world. In the end, such comparisons even at the subconscious level creates doubt over your confidence to lead a happy life. Never mind that the reality of having a newborn is quite different. Childbirth is no easy feat. If a mother had a difficult delivery, and if her newborn is unwell or colicky, the mother might be spending sleepless nights with engorged breasts as the milk production is yet to be regulated.
Is spending time on social media helping you to create more than you consume? Self-satisfaction, well-being comes when you see yourself contributing something positive and tangible to humanity. Creating something new brings a sense of accomplishment. It means different things to different people. For a writer, it might mean completing a 900-word article regularly. I don’t know how other writers do it. For me, to come up with a story I deem good, I must research enough, reflect on it enough, before submitting it to the editor.
True, social media has brought some benefits in terms of relationships e.g. it has reunited lost family members and old friends. But social media has also brought an end to marriages when a spouse found his or her old flame and decided to pursue a once broken relationship, to the detriment of the current marriage.
I hope you can see that social media is a double-edged sword. I’m not here to tell you that you should or should not bid farewell to social media. It’s one of those things in life that could help or harm you depending on how you use it. Every generation in humanity has a unique set of circumstances that they must deal with. Ours is no different. Reflect on the negatives and positives. Above all, be honest with yourself. If it’s not making you a better person, if it’s not making you any happier, if it doesn’t bring meaning to your life, perhaps the kind choice you can do today for yourself is to say Goodbye to your social media account. For good.
Featured Photo: Tatiana Syrikova