My take on the influence of social media

So, last week I had a donut… It was my first donut in almost three years, and for the past two weeks, I’ve been craving this sugary oily high in carbs treat that probably won’t do any good neither to my body nor to my sugar addiction and energy level. It was yummy after all and I didn’t feel that guilt feeling. Why am I telling you this story? Because about two weeks ago it was a National Donut Day, and the social media looked like “Donutland”: people were taking it very seriously. In the end, I don’t even like donuts that much, and yet I had one.
This very simple example made me realize that social media affects my world and my decision making more than I could ever imagine. I couldn’t make peace with a thought that maybe social media has a little too much influence on my life, so what did I do? I started reading all kinds of article, researches, studies. Literally, anything that would help me see a bigger picture. After hours and hours of research, I realized that it all begins with the main tool we use in social media – communication: we communicate with the world through the images and posts we share. What did we do before the social media? We still communicated, we shared recommendations with each other and showed the pictures. Communication through social media is what made an impact on my world. And not necessarily negative one. After all, if there was no social media and my friend would keep talking about the donuts, I would still get a donut at some point. Maybe not as fast as I did since “Images cultivate trust, and we remember them longer than we remember the context in which we saw them”, but I would still buy it.
Important things I want to remember:

  • social media was created to enjoy, share, communicate and connect with the world. Not to compare, humiliate, make ourselves smaller, question our self-worth or bullying.
  • social media is powerful, use it wisely.
  • real life matters, mental health matter. Social media is a tool – use to create, not to destroy.
  • Just like in every day’s life, you create your reality, you choose who to be influenced by.
    To sum it all up, I stopped following everyone who would make me feel smaller, who would make me envious and greedy. Unintentionally or on purpose (I’m a human, after all). Anyone whos posts make me think that I am not enough and my life should be better/brighter. Anyone who would make me unrealistically higher my expectations and
    I unsubscribed from people who I couldn’t stop comparing myself to – it wasn’t going anywhere anyway. My life wasn’t going anywhere, I was just losing time.
    Instead:
    I follow people that inspire me: in any possible way – some will teach me, make me smile, or share something that would make my day/life better. Some will support me and my writing, others will create something worthy. The idea is to be surrounded by people that let us grow. Both in real life and the world of social media.

XX,
Gena.

12 Comments

  1. You are absolutely right, social media was intended for communication – but by both consumers and businesses. Sadly, in real life face to face conversations people can also bully, compare and belittle. It is true that word of mouth is powerful, and that applies whether in person or online.

    Liked by 1 person

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