Blog #7: Why you should be living and not chasing likes

There is a massive chance that you have social media, have had social media or if you don’t,  you have heard of social media. It is hard these days to not look at other social media users and be jealous. If I look at Instagram I often look at the people I follow and wonder how I get their life. Some people are posting pictures of exotic places, the fancy food they eat and even make people jealous at how “easy” it is to be the perfect parent.

The jealousy is normal as it is not unnatural to want better and to strive for better. Having it in your face and at the click of a button doesn’t help. It is not hard to open a search engine and to begin researching the effects on social media presence of others have on other people. It can also cause others to get in debt to live the perfect life.

So why do people do it?

The image we have of ourselves is a contributing factor. If we live a life that isn’t luxurious then an escape is social media. We can edit, change and make ourselves look better then what we are. 

An image or a video only shows a fraction of our lives. Behind the camera can be a team or entire crew who edit the image to look a certain way. People want to look like they are fulfilled in their lives and they want to look successful. 

The question we need to ask is why do we need to lie to ourselves? Pictures of us dressed up, smiling with a drink in hand is a famous picture. It invites people to look at you and like it. It glamourises us and in some cases gives us satisfaction when we get compliments.

 Arguably those with low confidence can get confidence and happy if they are unhappy with their lives. But it isn’t right. People who are conscience about social media will be aware of what they are posting. I once was in a relationship with a girl who wouldn’t wear the same outfit twice as she didn’t want all the pictures on her Facebook to be of her in the same outfit. This encouraged her to buy more clothes or change her outfits. Pictures were also consolidated with friends and words like ‘Don’t put that one on Facebook’ or ‘ That makes me look fat’ were said to friends. This -despite me thinking their was nothing wrong with her – was for keeping up appearances online. An is an issue of importance for some people.

All about the likes

There are two types of likes in my opinion:

The like like

These are the likes where people will actually look at the picture and they will like it because they can relate to the content and genuinely like it. These likes are why we put pictures and videos online. We do it to gratify ourselves and these likes make us feel better about ourselves and give us the motivation to post content online.

The scrolling like

This is the like where a person will just be casualling  scrolling on a social media, come across a picture or video and like it. They like it because they like picture and that’s that. It doesn’t mean anything to them its just a nice picture. As with art; it is open to interpretation. Some like the picture because it speaks to them and some like it because it looks nice.

Now until all social media can identify the ‘likes likes’ and ‘the scrolling likes’, it will be hard for those who put effort and soul to distinguish who likes their media and why. 

Then again we could share pictures and videos online not for the likes but to share our experiences and lives. Who really wants to look at a staged and edited picture right? 


Blog #3: The Social Media Blackout

Blog #3: The Social Media Blackout

Have you ever been in a room full of people and looked up only to realise that everyone is on their phone?

                                                    (Image: Huffington Post)

These images are all to frequent in 21st Century society. Children, teenagers and adults have their head buried in a electronic device on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, sometimes unaware of the people around them. I often wonder how long in a week or in a lifetime people will spend browsing social media as we cannot go anywhere without people talking about it. I have even seen on chat shows the impact social media has on everyday life e.g. ending relationships.

Now, I’m not negative towards social media because I myself am attached to my phone like it is another body part. I sometimes worry extensively about losing my phone, to find it in my hand. Social media has become a haven with me checking it nearly every hour. I wonder what my favourite celebrities are up to; or my friends and family. Am I missing something?  What’s happening in the world?

When used properly social media can be wonderful. It can connect people who are far away. It can allow friends who may not see each other in a long time, to connect much more frequently then before. Events and intimate moments are shared with others instantly. Social media is pretty amazing, in theory.

But with the positives come the negatives. With one big negative I have observed: addiction. Boy is social media addictive. I myself like possibly many others look at one social media and go straight to the over and the next. I sometimes will check all of my social media’s e.g. Twitter (shameless plug alert – add me on Twitter @Theblogster1), Facebook and Instagram – then go straight back to them 10 minutes later.

I often wonder about the effects that social media has indoctrinated on me. I long to remember the days before it all began and wonder without the technology we have now or without social media, what would society be like now?

The Challenge

I am going on a social media ban or blackout to see the effects it has on me and the subconscious behaviours I may have adopted as a result of using social media for nearly ten years from the popular days of MySpace – yes, I am old. I am giving myself a break from all social media for 72 hours. That means no Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. The only contact with humans I am allowing myself electronically is text messaging or phone calls – as well as 1-to-1 verbal discourse.

My Initial Thoughts 

I believe that this will be a breathe of fresh air and despite some resistance, I can think that I can last 72 hours. I am eager to see the results either good or bad and beleive it may lead to some change. It’ll be interesting to also see if I have developed any subconscious traits towards social media.

The Blackout

Day 1 

The first day was a breathe of fresh air. I did not have any urge to check any social media platforms. I actually was quite productive and felt liberated. 

I started the day early and instead of checking Facebook, Twitter etc. I read a chapter of a book, I looked at potential employment opportunities and listed down ideas I had for future blog posts. Though I wasn’t connected with the people in my life as much as I was before, this led me to communicate using other methods. Communicating this way, felt liberating and it was good to have an actual conversation with someone rather than reading about how they were on Social Media.

Day 2 & Day 3 

These days were the same, but I got itchy-finger-syndrome in the afternoon on the second day and throughout day three. I would often go on the Internet and type in the browser to go on Facebook without knowing. Obviously, throughout the years my subconscious has adapted itself to to go on Facebook as a default when going on the Internet. This would  again happen to me throughout the day. I would glance at people and see they were on Facebook. I would get jealous of others who were on Facebook and felt like I was missing out on what was going on in the world. In hindsight any newsworthy story on social media would be available on any news app or website. This actually enlightened me to the fact that I get my news from social media instead of watching or looking at the news (arguably both can be biased or untrustworthy when it comes to the news). 

It was interesting to see the effect on myself from participating in social media for the better part of a decade. It has become ingrained in our 21st Century society and with its pros their are cons. One con of using social media is the constant desire to look at it, though maybe it is not a desire. It could be out of boredom and social media fills this boredom. The biggest pro is the intention that social media is used for: for sharing. If used to share moments in our lives that others can’t see or share with us, it has great potential. If we step back from looking for likes and views, if we move away from superficial reasons like looking at celebrities bodies or envious about others lives – it will have more of an immense impact on out society. We need to look away from our screens and find away we can share that limits our time in front of a screen.

With its advantages and disadvantages social media is not going away anytime soon and if anything, it will only evolve. The question to ask though is, will it evolve to be greater than of will we be forever wandering what the Kardashians are up to?