Is the social media version of you different than the “real” you?
Food for thought for comparing our real selves with our social image
We live in a truly social world today. How interconnected we are today? Being informed of happenings across thousands of kilometers in seconds via news. Being connected with our dear and near ones through social media. Well, aren’t we lucky that such a pandemic has affected us when humanity has reached such an adept level of technological advancement?
Imagine being forced to sit in our homes thirty years back. So, much confusion and pandemonium would have followed. Limited choices would have been there to spend time back then. The situation in India might also have been a bit different for a considerable part of our country if Jio might have not driven the seismic shift in the accessibility of the cheaper mobile internet. Of course, that was complemented with the availability of cheap smartphones made accessible mostly by Chinese smartphone makers. However, a significant part of our population does not have such access even today. So, the future looks good for both the users and providers in this case.
In spite of all things India characterizes, one thing that really makes India stand out is the minimal requirement of money to survive juxtaposed with the fact that even the richest of the world’s billionaires also live in India.
Nevertheless back to the main point that we truly live in a social world. And how we use social media is an interesting phenomenon!
In reality, we are what we are! We speak what we are and we think what we think. However, on Social media like Facebook and Instagram, etc. we do have the choice. We have the choice to select the narrative about how we live, what we live, what we think! Basically we have the freedom to tweak our actual image into being someone whatever we want to be. And boy oh boy, as human beings are social creatures, we do exercise that option without really thinking about it. And we have become really good at practicing that.
Today, much of our life and some equally important decisions are affected by how our online presence is! Do we get a particular job or not (read Linkedin), whom do we marry to (read online marriage sites), whom do we date (read Tinder, Bumble), etc. all are affected by an untrue image of us, conveyed in just the way we wanted it to be!
I do not know how social this phenomenon is but in my social circle, people generally use social media as an achievement wall. Things in general about which they are proud of or they are happy about. Their good memories, best times spent with friends, etc. I do not know anyone in my circle who also does shares the events and moments when he/she is feeling low or has failed at something. People don’t post an image of themselves after spending a whole day being harassed by their manager. And it is in our human tendency that humans as social creatures become jealous of a certain other, or we also start that extra thing; a car, a bigger home or going to that cool trip!
If you haven’t been aware of the above fact, then there’s some food for thought. Go back and introspect how people around you behave in real and social life and how do you behave? And do share what you discover!
There might be a correlation between the usage of social media and the mood in general of the user. If such an algorithm exists, given that it has been trained on sufficient number of datasets, would raise some alarms if a user who is very regular on social media suddenly stops using social media. This in the future, might as well help to reduce the suicides attempted by the teenagers (a problem which is currently on the rise) and contribute towards bettering the overall emotional and social health of our best and brightest.