By Pooja Marwah
I have never been the sort of girl to fear, for to me, fear was for those who lacked faith. Words like ‘worry’ never freaked me out, for if I knew something was beyond my control, it seemed futile to waste my time worrying. Perhaps this made me stronger emotionally or, as some put it, gave rise to a streak of arrogance. I would replace that with self confidence, but then I am a just a girl who thrives on the brighter side of the surface!
Fear would be an incorrect word to use but I am taking the liberty to express my concern over the exhaustive manner in which social media is being used; most specially Instagram. No one reads the news anymore, they simply scan the highlights on an app. Social issues are mere topics of conversation which last a few seconds as it seems important to scroll down on some influencer’s frivolous feed. I love the fact that everyone is a someone in the online world but there has got to be some form of responsibility that we as adults also need to exude.
If we used social media to talk about diversity and inclusion – perhaps we could really see a shift in accepting it wholeheartedly as a society.
If we used social media to stress on the importance of conversation – perhaps we would see more children and adults actually put down their phones and have a face to face conversation. And build interpersonal skills.
If we use social media to learn a new aspect of life – it surely adds to our personality but, if you really think about it, all we really did was allow someone else’s opinion on living life to become ours!
And that is where the first mistake lies. Nothing, I mean nothing, on social media can be taken at face value. The perfect lives you see online are most likely suffering from low self esteem, as their recent video or reel hasn’t gotten them the estimated number of likes.
The second mistake is that the opinions influencers put on you are slowly taking away your own ability to form opinions; for you end up subconsciously relying on the ones you see, even if they don’t fit in to your own life puzzle.
And the third, most dangerous of them all, is the trolls that stop you from voicing your own thoughts, right or wrong. Our words get sprung out of context, our actions get brutally dissected and slowly we end up getting into a shell of self-reclusiveness.
Very few have the confidence and the maturity to understand social media and a documentary on it only further concreted my doubts. At vulnerable ages, we begin exposing ourselves to the internet, least realising that everything we do there has a footprint. Every message that goes on stays in the labyrinth of chips and bytes. Nothing gets erased, even if you press delete.
I am all for technology and I love the dynamics of social media. But the key to a constructive and progressive society is balance. You can’t walk into a snowstorm with a T-shirt; else you will freeze to death. Likewise, before embarking on the world of social media, it is imperative that you know and understand the effects it may have on you; otherwise it has the ability to spiral you downwards, before you can even blink an eye!
It is something to think about and surely something very important to act upon.
(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes an contemporary living and offers incisive reflections on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myraid stuggles we face each day.)