Sunday, 29 January 2017

Why I'm Going Offline and So Should You

Firstly, apologies. I know no-one reads these things, but I would like to formally apologise to my non-existent readers for being so absent. The truth is after a year of writing, I seem to have run out of original, satirical studenty stuff (aside from writing about cone theft), so I will be one of the many millions of people who use their blogging as an online diary (as if I wasn't doing that already).

I had to break my silence because the truth is, social media has driven me to the edge. If I was in a thriller, I'd be the person in the car whose car is hanging on the edge of a cliff. I'd be Moriarty with a gun in his pocket, I'd be...well you get the drift.

I'm through with feeling bad about the fact that it's a Friday night and i'm eating Dominos while scrolling through people's Instagrams about how they're having such a good time and how they basically have the best life ever. Yes, I know this sounds like the most bitter thing you've read today (aside from Donald Trump's tweets) but the truth is, social media, be it Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, in whatever medium, is detrimental to our mental health. If we try and live up to a false ideal, we'll never be good enough.

Social media is designed so we can show off the best things about our lives; our expensive hauls and our exotic holidays, and it achieves exactly what the original publishers of this content want us to achieve. We all want our friends and peers to be jealous of us. Jealous of our exaggerated lives, jealous of the things we CHOOSE to highlight. Now, at the risk of sounding like a Trainspotting monologue, it doesn't take a genius to work out what both us and our peers are trying to do. But if you're like me and treat social media as a hobby, spending this much time on it can do no good. Even though you know someone's ulterior motive, if you're looking at these things every morning. every work break, every night, you can't help but get brainwashed by the world of show offs out there.

But It's not just the showing off that's wrong, it's the constant need for validation. Posting an Instagram photo and then deleting it because you didn't get more than 11 likes is saddening and happens all too often. You should post a photo you like, and that you want others to see, not just for an empty double tap from a friend's friend's cousin's brother. We've even let third party apps where you can get dozens of likes from random accounts become a thing, because apparently we crave the validation of some stranger instead of those in our close circles who actually matter. We know it's crazy, we know it's wrong, but when you get sucked in to the fickle world of social media, it's hard to get out.

So this is why I'm choosing to go offline. I need to get away from all the posers concerned about their public image (yes, that includes me). I need to stop posting photos for people I don't care about to tell them what a good time I had. Instead of spending the whole night taking photos in a hilarious new Snapchat filter, I'll focus on enjoying the company I'm with and developing relationships with the people right in front of me, rather than on Whatsapp.

3 comments:

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