The Perils of Being a Social Media Butterfly
Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast……
Since time immemorial, beauty and the beast have walked hand in hand; only difference being that in the fairy tale, the beauty saw through the Beast’s gruff exterior and understood what he is like on the inside. Whereas today, we simply look the beast in the eye, get intimidated and cower under his dominance. Maybe it’s time to change in attitude.
So what gave in? Why the change? When did our candid picture updating habit turn into a posing frenzy? Why did we stop listening to friends sitting in front of us and while we worried more about the virtual friend’s like or dislike our umpteenth picture of the day? Since when did looking at old pictures change from sweet nostalgia to loud groans of discomfort, poor body image and body shaming?
The answer to these questions is simple really: the minute we started obsessing about social media, is time we started bowing down to the beast without realising whether he is just a cursed prince or truly an animal unleashed! Today, what we are actually doing is – buying a flashy new car or that coveted new Limited Edition purse to look good, without having a clue about whether we really want it or not, just to get a few hi-fives on the numerous social media apps we are slave to. To top it all, when we get badgered for being a narcissist or social media freak, we bawl our eyes out wondering what we did wrong! Eh, really???
Why we love social media so much?
Why do we put ourselves through this? Is it really the thriving youth on the social media that dictates what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘abnormal’ these days? We are slaves to the Trending, crave the numerous likes feeling more the merrier, and let’s not even start about the snapshots, tweets and writings on the walls! While all the likes give you instant happiness, all this social pressure to appear your very best at every possible time has been found to have profound psychosocial effects. It provides everyone a uniform measuring stick which we use to chucking aside our unique differences and then feeling depressed.
Why tame the beast?
Every woman desires to be stick thin to fit in the long upheld hourglass figure of 36-24-36. So when she puts on weight, she hits the gym. While obesity is killer and nothing to be proud of, body shaming is probably worse! When you put on weight, its best to examine the cause behind the weight gain before jumping to get rid of it. If it’s something as simple as the occasional wedding feast or festive season binging, then hitting the gym seems reasonable; but if it’s something you can’t point a figure at, it’s best to make an appointment with the doctor and let him identify the cause and its solution. Innumerable reasons ranging from thyroid disorders, high levels of estrogen, insulin or cortisol (stress hormone), polycystic ovarian disease, diabetes can lead to weight gain. It is important to identify the root cause behind the unexplained weight gain before starting treatment on it.
The same holds true for skin care. Acne, pimples, tans, burns are all a reality. We simply cannot run or hide from them. But we can care for our skin. We can ensure its hydration (by consuming at least 8 glasses of water everyday). The skin is elastic in nature, so with natural phases like pregnancy and ageing, it is bound to scar and loosen causing stretch marks and wrinkles. It is important to understand this to be able to age gracefully. We follow the stars blindly and take a plunge at the deep end without much forethought. For them, its their job.
What’s our excuse then?
Researchers began questioning the rising rates of suicides in teenagers and found a higher correlation between social media and the rate of recorded suicides. It seems that this thirst for virtual friendships is not solving anyone’s problems but creating a few of its own. People are ready to go far beyond the usual to ensure they are ahead in the race of likes and friends, but is it really worth it in the end? Skipping real human society to spike up the virtual one is actually playing havoc with our instincts. Human beings by nature are social! We need the contact with other fellow humans to survive. So, when we glue ourselves to the social media sites, we are going against our basic human tendencies, creating disputes within ourselves. Disputes that some of us loose and end up six feet below the earth by taking matters in own hands at the last minute.
Would it not be much better if we took the initiative earlier than required, nipped the abomination called social media in the bud and worked our way around to maintain real healthy relationships? Just imagine, actually closing your eyes savouring the taste of the chaat on Juhu beach instead of posing with it in your hands for the world to see. Do you think you might like that better?