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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

To be or not to be - On Social Media

The social dilemma haunting our current generation

Pix Credit: istock

The other world

The curated world of social media is tantalizing, distracting and mocking. An online engagement that unlocks a world of possibilities. Connecting persons, organizations, groups with similar interests offering the kind of aspirational life populated in dreams. In reality it is packed with plenty of paradox. Social media triggers many conflicting emotions and responses. For some it can provide support, information, timely intervention while many are confronted with envy, residual resentment resulting in decreased life satisfaction. All too often the digital mediated world of social media only spotlights the positive aspects of one’s life – a far cry from its accurate authenticity.

What is the attraction of social media? It is everywhere, it is hard to miss, looks and feels enticing. With the expansive internet access available across continents, it is impossible to resist, the community engagement is disarming, even given the evidence of being a fist in a velvet glove. Armed with smart phones that make good experiences worthy of excellent photo-capturing moments, social media becomes the natural platform. And since everyone, across the age spectrum is engaged, the allure is big, bright and overwhelming. Social media crafts the seductive visibility of communal construct on all fronts with friends, professionally and soon a world without borders comes into being. Sharing digital spaces with delicacy is a honed skill and many of us stumble through it with well intention enthusiasm.

FOMO – Fear of Missing Out

The exponential growth of internet has played a major role in the impact of social media. With 4.9 billion active users globally, it is an essential part of our everyday life and hard to wish away. It cannot be ignored by any brand, company or individual who has a presence in the social landscape. It has transformed the way we interact and stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. It is used as tool for hiring and firing people. Dates and love is found through social media. Education and entertainment is provided using this medium, the list is endless, in short it is a integral part of our everyday life. It can also be a powerful tool to impact society and a double edged sword to spread false news. By default, human natures craves connections, which social media provides. When used optimally it provides us approval, acceptance and reciprocity.

Creating a Balance

Focusing on what is physically in front of you as well as using social media is to create balance and keeping it real. Taking time to connect with loved ones through technology but also through face to face interactions will ensure we remain mindful. Following inspiring and positive stories through influencers will elevate the social media experience. Keeping connections alive with loved ones who are far away using social media is to reignite the bond and continue creating new memories. Social networking can also aid us in developing various talents and careers. Online education is a valuable resources for acquiring fresh skills and exploring new opportunities through distance learning. The benefits of digital learning through degrees of connectivity are vast and exciting. So much is decimated via social media these days, news, health, emergency alerts, entertainment, education, jobs to name a few. A PEW study has indicated that by age twelve, 50 percent of young adults in the United States use at least one social media platform.

Being aware of the pressures of social media, it is important to unpack the reality that it is here to stay. An essential instrument used to fashion an empowering shared construct. Social media afforded me a platform to create a blog, rekindle my creativity and build a community. My love of writing dormant for so long, came back in full force and I couldn’t be happier, more fulfilled. Yet, as I partake of social media, I have learnt to set boundaries, parameters that limit my consumption, so I am not swamped by it. As readers how do you respond to the seductive allure of social media? Do write in and let your views add weight to this ongoing debate. Meanwhile, let us commit to fostering awareness and strengthening relationships via social media.

We are stronger together


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