I’m a social media junkie. I blog, I tweet and occasionally I update my Facebook status. Social media to me is a lifeline to people back home, friends scattered across various countries and fantastic people I have never met but one day hope to. However, I had a conversation with a friend last night who isn’t a social media junkie. In fact, social media is something she can’t bring herself to get involved in at all as it brings out feelings of major inadequacies. It should be noted that, in my eyes, my friend shouldn’t have these feelings at all, but she does and it was something I never really considered about social media.
We use social media to update our friends and complete strangers about our lives, our passions, our loves and whatever inane thoughts we feel we should share. To me, an internet junkie for 18 years, it seems so natural to have social interactions this way. Whilst I’m aware of cyberbullying, the dangers of having your life online for anyone to view and other negative things, I never really thought about how social media could make people feel inadequate. I just saw the good side of social media – the ease of sharing your life with people who, for whatever reasons, were unable to be there to share it with you. I never saw these life updates as almost a tally score of how other people’s lives are so much better than your own and the mental anguish that could bring.
How do others feel about this? Is this something that quite a lot of you feel either all the time or every now and again? I’m just wondering if I’ve been completely blind to this darkside of social media that perhaps everyone else experiences.