At times an individual can find himself or herself outside the norm and this is true for me when it comes to social media usage.

Don’t get me wrong I was once a strong user of Instagram especially my time traveling around the USA, however, my turning point was when I became self-aware and questioned myself about my usage and motive behind it.

Personally, I found myself glorifying life or having the need to display my lifestyle and reflecting that in an image and caption of x amount of characters.

When you deconstruct the process of a post into steps you notice the effort outlaid; first capturing an image with the right angle, lighting, second applying a filter to give your photo that umph, the final step is generating the right caption to complement your photo – one that will generate some likes.

Now, this is where I believe people are in denial and state they don’t do it for likes. My question is then why display it on a public platform?

It’s evident the impact social media has on society, research has correlated social media platform with varies types of mental health issues such as depression, self-awareness, low self-esteem, desire for validation and many traits of narcissism. –http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/people-who-post-their-fitness-routine-to-facebook-have-psychological-problems-study-claims-a7187666.html

The sad thing is vast amounts of people are not able to identify this behaviour because it’s instilled in them or a norm.

Questions, why are these platforms popular? What human need do they satisfy, How can hours be spent navigating through other people’s lives? Do you admire or wish you were living someone else life based on what you have seen on social media?

Admittedly this has been a challenging week for me in the light of social media, there have been a few articles and research papers that have been released into the usage of social media.

As it’s a trending topic in life my aware and my sensitivity to it has been heightened and being surrounded by people who display similar behaviour is a worry.

http://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/03/14/social-media-narcissism/?utm_campaign=Highsnobiety+Post&utm_source=facebook – A great write up social media and narcissism

There are tons of positive of social media; these powerful platforms have the ability to outreach to billions of people, connecting people and products in this digital space.

An individual can create their digital identity, persona, avatar online, they can build brands, product or offer a service.

Yet many are not educated on their usage, in the right hands, it could shower so much growth and opportunities to its audience members.
It’s important that people are educated on their usage, a level of understanding around their desire and the necessary need to display your lifestyle.

Research has found that an individual who gains likes a form of instant gratification have the same bodily reaction as a cocaine taker, which explains people’s addiction and needs to seek approval/validation from others.

Maslow created a hierarchy of needs which at the top he states that “self-actualisation” this hierarchy describes the human motivation and needs.

1024px-Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

How can people truly build self-actualisation when social media challenges them as they are unknowingly gaining validation from others.

Imagine the world where people didn’t display material things but meaningful things, a large majority of us can admit that we live in a difficult challenging world.

For instances, if you live in London and you want to own your own property is a tough, especially if you are accumulating the initial deposit and monthly costs without a helping hand.

So what happens when you are surrounded in a world that values material things including gold Lambos, some may find yourself attempting to live up to that particular lifestyle or trying to maintain what seems to be a desirable lifestyle – A front.

Why is a photo of a new car for instance given more ratings than a person taking a picture of a bunch of books or a beautiful landscape?

Challenge – Look at your posts and review the ones that get the most likes, question why?

Many are aligned or programmed to value a thing that is dear, your upbringing and society reinforce this.

I’m thankful for my upbringing, as it has allowed me to be humble in my ways. But also educating myself and gaining an understanding of the rat race, the human mind and learning contentment along with appreciating of the basics.
Interestingly the new £5 note has the words “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat” which in itself should have your brain rattling.

18845-Frank-Ocean-Quote-Work-hard-in-silence-let-your-success-be-your

Imagine the world where you are scrolling through your timeline to see people working hard – An 11pm shot of them still in the office, an image of a brother or sister with a caption like this is why I grind.
In the same breath is there a need to display a moment in your life? What’s your reason behind it?
These platforms are built so people can voice their opinions on life but it has been turned it a popularity contest.

Studies have found a link between social media and depression depending on your contents you may have friends who are impacted by your post.
Picture this, you are about to board a flight to New York and you feel the need to share this moment with a picture of your boarding pass. Now there may be someone who is struggling to scrape two pennies together, they may need to travel to visit a sick love but can’t afford it. What impact do you think it may have on them? What do you think will happen with them?

With great power comes great responsibility – Be aware of your impact

I’m worried for the next generation, the always-connected generation. This generation of people suffering from fear and missing out syndrome has led to teenage sleeping later and later.

So why has social media impacted me lately especially as a light user, my recent ventures have meant I have interfaced frequently.
Social media is an excellent platform for promoting a product or service, and even better when you get a social media celebrate to do a shout out for you. There are people who are making a living from social media and that’s what motivates or adds to this chauvinistic behaviour.

As an outsider, I can see the flaws in the usage, with younger brothers I’m aware of the pressures and the desires to maintain a perceived lifestyle.
I grew up in an era when your best trainers were the same trainers you played football in, kids can not get away with this and outlay £100+ on trainers but think further what is the impact on the person paying for them usually a parent.

Forward thinking I ponder about the lifestyle my children will live and the challenges they will face without a shadow of a doubt I will be able to provide for them but I want them to be humble in.
I want to instill my beliefs and have them aware of their actions, question them, be able to state their why’s rather than I do it because I wanted to or it’s what we do – there is a motive behind everything we do it consciously or subconsciously and lastly break out of social norms.

Define who you are, who are you without the clothes on your back or your monetary extensions? That should be your content online.

Interested reads:

[amazon_link asins=’0062348116,1416575995,1532708645,152370246X,1623156424,B0030MQJMS,1508663661,0865478236,B008AK5ZJ8′ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’finishingproduct-21′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3b673503-38a8-11e7-afd5-5de978fdb9c9′]