Instagram has started testing the new version of IG experience, based on hiding likes. Good for them! A wise decision, according to some. Without any intention to go deeper into the matter of whether hiding likes is beneficial I agree with one thing. Social media platforms, have provided the means for making posts with one intention only – to collect likes. And if likes are missing, we are all doomed, aren’t we? Staying sane in digital times is a true art.
The Character of Social Media
“We have the means to garner entire knowledge on any possible topic with just a click away, and we choose to stare at photos of cats for hours.” I cannot remember who said it. However, I remember that when I came across this line, it made me think. Not that I have anything against cats, though.
In our digital times, many social media platforms are visual in their essence. Apart from Twitter, which aims to stir debates, majority of other platforms provide for ultimate visual experience. Seemingly, it has become more important to look good than to sound good or have anything clever to say.
In other words, what those platforms are saying is “Come and join us. We will let you see how other people’s lives look like and let you present yours in the best possible manner.” Everyone likes to make impressions. Hence a galore of fake ones.
What Is Your Purpose of Using Social Media?
Digital times have taken its toll on me. I use several social platforms privately and enjoy them heavily. I guess you could say that I am addicted to some. Many times, I caught myself browsing endlessly without any purpose whatsoever and still finding it hard to break loose. This is probably the point where I should realize that things have gone too far. However, living a disconnected life is not on my agenda.
Therefore, I try to find a proper measure and purpose to my bad habits. Finding a purpose is not so easy as it sounds.
Keeping in touch with people dear to me is definitely my number one purpose of using social media. However, this purpose also entails a certain amount of voyeurism. Although, a healthy amount, I hope. On the other hand, it is debatable whether the material we all disclose online is genuine. Not only that there are myriads of tools enabling users to modify and alter the visual material extensively, but the topics and materials many users choose to post are also tendentious.
The other reason I use social media is to be informed. As we all know, many businesses have turned to social platforms for advertising. I like to stay informed, especially since these channels of communication provide many details which a regular user is not able to come across on other media.
Are There Downsides or Not Really?
Not a true downside but, social media platforms can be time consuming. Why I think this does not necessarily has to be a downside is that it depends on what exactly you are looking at. In case you spend your time on a profile that shares important information, your time is well spent. As far as I am concerned, the same goes for profiles that provide pure fun, as I believe everyone needs it.
For example, finding a person, or a company that share experience on how they completed a challenging task can bring some value to your life. Alternatively, finding an online place where you can be whatever you wish to be can also be liberating and relaxing.
The true downsides could be some of the following. These platforms can consume too much of your time, driving you away from your family and affecting communication. Exposing you to cyber-bullying in case you do not know how to protect yourself is also one of the possible cons. Lastly, social media can affect your self-esteem in case you have the tendency to compare yourself with others. Nevertheless, all of the cons I stated here are conditional. The bottom line appears to be that social platforms are beneficial when a person using them knows the rules of the game.
Have you ever overused social media platforms?