Social Smoke and Mirrors: Is Social Media Fake?

Social Smoke and Mirrors: Is Social Media Fake?

Is the image people portray or the photo people publish on social media fake? Is WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) in social media non-existent? I hate to say this, but I believe that not all shown on social media is the truth.

It’s not social media platforms to blame, though. The smoke and mirrors created by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the likes are just a part of the evolutionary process of how human being interact, in my opinion. People can now be anyone they want, do whatever they want using social media. They can do good and do bad on social media. They can be a motivator or a bully; a nice person or a troll; anyone, anything, really.

In fact, the Internet and everything that comes with it – including social media – allows you to be ‘anonymous’.

The worrying trend of today’s social media personal/business brand image has led us to a new ‘disorder’: The pursuit of perfection.

This is the trend: Teens are spending 40 minutes to setup the right angle of the camera, the right settings, the right makeup, for a perfect photo that’s going to be posted on Instagram. When the Insta photo isn’t getting enough shares, they take it down.

Gary Vaynerchuk explains the trend better:

The truth is, people respond to effort. When a celebrity favorites your tweet, you get excited. Someone you admire likes a photo of yours on Instagram, it makes you feel good. Because, in reality, it’s not about the 100th of a second it takes to double tap that photo — it’s about the fact that they looked at your profile. They chose a photo. They saw it. And they “liked” it. That interaction, which takes all of 5 or 6 seconds, really touches people in a way that is unique to the powers that be on social.

All trends come with upsides and downsides. On the upside, social media can help someone unknown becoming a popular figure on that platform. Social media can help you connect with someone/something that matters. In business, social media offers small businesses a chance to go head-to-head against the big boys.

Not being negative, but the downside is more worrying, especially when it comes to a personal level. Here’s one example:

The 19-year-old Australian model Essena O’Neill reveals the truth about her Instagram photos, and she get numerous backlash. That’s social. Yes, we love to fake things on social. Just like what Luke Lewis said in his BuzzFeed post about Instagram, “in real life there are no filters.”

But to be honest with you, I feel the same way, too, about social media – you can’t trust all that you see on social.

I’m not saying that you should quit social media. What I’m saying is that you should use it responsibly – and reasonably. Unplugging from social might be a good idea.

To conclude, I believe in the power of social media for business and personal purposes. In fact, social media is what enabling minuscule business like us to stay competitive against the multi-million-dollar business. However, on a personal level, social media can cause serious mental health problems – anxiety, depression, feeling alone/worthless, even suicidal. Understand that there are limits to everything, and it’s always a good idea to stay within the limits.

I’ve shared my opinion. ‘Care to share yours?

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