Our culture is generally enrooted with particular norms & values, our elders instilled some of them within us before we could even properly utter our home language(s). Yes, these values may vary per home, however, one of its common aspects is social interaction between human-kind, which revolves around creating healthy relations & firm bonds as we constantly navigate through this evolving life. Successfully maintaining this primary norm induces a sense of belonging & security.
Preserving these valuable, traditional teachings has become gruelling since the inception of the internet. Most of our reality has become distorted throughout the years. Do we even remember who we used to be before the digital age took over? Before our form of expressions deformed into memes? While the web makes it convenient to stay in touch, the pressure that comes with meeting societal standards heightens as we are continually bombarded with new trends on social media, in a short period of time. The effects thereof are synonymous with a plastic water bottle after pouring hot water into it. Our hope shrinks when our lifestyles fail to keep up with those whose content we follow & consume. This aftermath has contributed to perpetuating mental illness in youngsters.
Instead of serving its purpose of bringing humankind together, the social network has ironically caused massive separateness; below this “deep sea” are sharks like classism & cyber-bullying threatening to attack one’s esteem.
We are so overly caught up in this blistering “merry-go-round” of likes, comments & shares that we are ignorant of how it is negatively shaping our culture & society altogether. Much like drug addiction, we overdose our participation & ride on the validations that come with the likes we receive on our respective posts. Our cultural values & norms fell out of the pocket while unconsciously riding on this fluctuating rollercoaster. Think about it for a second, when last did you have a genuine, physical social interaction with someone? The last time you went out to catch up with a friend, were you not tempted to take out your phone to check the latest trends because of FOMO (Fear of missing out)? Our generation is hardly present, if at all. We have this unhealthy apprehension that our counterparts might be having gratifying experiences without us.
Our intents were pure when we first joined these social networks; unfortunately, we have gradually given them the upper hand in our lives & have allowed them to substitute real-life connections. The downside of it is the fact that they somewhat suppress genuine interactions such as emotional expressions which are hidden behind emojis that can be interpreted in different ways by different people, consequently compromising relationships.
For your own good, it is pivotal to be conscious of how socializing on the internet makes you feel & limit your engagement if it degenerates your mental health. The uncomfortable truth is – these apps are designed to snare people from their actual reality & subsequently make them a slave to their cellphone(s). For the inventors, it’s nothing but business, therefore it is our responsibility to constantly monitor our usage, break free from the shackles of automation, be fully present in real life, reform & restore human relations.