Social media – the magical realm where everyone leads perfect lives. Of course they do – we can see that amazingly well from their beautifully photoshopped photos, their accurate honey-dripping statuses, and the rants and barely-literate blogs cluttering up every individual’s personal space.
Everyone is happy all the time, every couple is truly in love and not afraid to show it, all singles are glad to be so and wouldn’t change it for the world, and everyone is rich, popular and beautiful.
And we are all having the time of our lives. All the time. Fun, fun, fun.
Have you noticed the sarcasm yet?
Social media – the universe of moaners, internet trolls, keyboard warriors and fake accounts. Everyone is there, and we bloody well know it. Complaints are the order of the day, every day. Actually every minute.
Now, I’m the first to admit that certain posts are justified. For example, unless a shopkeeper, vendor, or restaurant owner sees a negative review on travel websites or Facebook consumer rights pages, they often wouldn’t even realise that they have a problem. This is because most people seem to be wary of approaching these businessmen directly on the premises, but find no compunction in going all out with the name-and-shame game when they’re hidden behind a screen.
Yes, social media is a wonderful tool to get in touch with people, organise events, and promote all kinds of services. However, realistically, it also tends to promote aggressive behavior, as well as – in my opinion – depression. Like any physical mob, the hoard of faceless people on social media grabs every opportunity to jeer, ridicule, taunt, and even insult others, be they acquaintances or total strangers.
Is it repressed anger? Nerves? Stress? Or is it simply the blind feral urge of a primate stripped of all the norms and civilized ideologies society has burdened him with? Do most of us actually find relief on social media? Is it the quasi-orgasmic pleasure of presenting some perfect fake persona owning the impeccable unblemished life we should possess? Or the immense satisfaction of venting our displeasure at not having such a perfect life, whenever we can? Is social media the new opium of the people? A way of escaping from the communally-approved, politically-correct performance which makes up our daily lives?
Is social media as fake as we make it out to be? Or is it actually a way for our deepest darkest self to make itself manifest? And what does that say about us?
Anyways, there you have it – society in miniature. The drama, the frustrated all-out fights on public walls, the impassioned Bible-long statuses written furiously to betraying exes, the photos full of duck faces and bathroom-portraits, the jealousy-inspired photos curiously uploaded EXACTLY five minutes after yours (just enough time to pose and airbrush the pic quickly with a mobile app). And what about the wedding count-downs, very expensive (and fake) engagement photoshoots, baby pictures which continue to crop up long after one’s child has reached his teenage years, and multiple videos of our dogs/cats/etc performing weird noises and coincidentally showing-off our Costa coffee cup (so classy) in the background? Not to mention illuminating online usernames like ‘JohnilKink’, ‘ShanaiaTaXonBISS’, or ‘MarkIllajf’. Creative, elegant and classy…right!?
And what to say about memes? Those funny, titillating, irrational, irritating posters you see cropping up everywhere? Especially when someone wants to say something to someone else, without actually saying it.
Social media – the most entertaining, fascinating, absorbing, essential entity since the invention of sliced bread.
Personally, I prefer a good book and a cup of hot chocolate… but that’s just me!