by Ira Gandhi
In the past decade technology and social media have become a large part of our lives and helps us express ourselves in many different ways. We have formed millions of connections and bonds through social media and platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter that allow people of different backgrounds and places to interact with thousands of people they never would have met otherwise. That being said most people compare these connections to real friendships and interactions offline and treat them the same which is not good. In fact a study at the University of Scotland linked time on social media to higher levels of anxiety and lower self esteem.
Firstly, you can’t have real friendships online because the image which you want to portray of yourself is possibly different from who you really are. In addition all our YouTube channels, blogs, Instagram feeds etc. are basically just trying to convince others and ourselves that we are living the perfect life that is worth following. At the start technology may seem like a modern version of friendship but when you dig deeper you find out that technology and social media can also be a place where you end up isolating yourself from the real world.
Secondly, these platforms may play a role in a fear of missing out because you can see what everyone else is doing at every moment, you can see how much fun everyone else had at the party that you weren’t invited to. And seeing the other party goers interacting with each other on Instagram and Snapchat just makes you feel worse. Social media interactions are very subjective to individual perspective and therefore can be misinterpreted
Lastly, everyone is different. While some people might prefer face-to-face interaction, others, especially introverts, may prefer to beat loneliness by interacting online. We are all unique individuals, and can choose different ways to tackle these issues. In the end we as individuals need to really understand the kind of interactions we have online.