YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN! That’s how I feel about social media a lot of the time. I’m that grumpy old man that gets all worked up over something that shouldn’t get me worked up. Or should it? I mean, there are times that social media has been a huge asset in various aspects of my life. I’ve found friends and lovers (only 2 relationships) from people I met on Instagram. Yet, with that I still think to myself: When did the world change so much? And has it changed for the better?
I remember when people couldn’t wait to get the new NokiaÔRazor flip phone. It was the latest and greatest cell phone and it allowed you to “text” easier with T9. People were abuzz with excitement, but very uncertain as to whether this “texting” thing was actually going to take off. Now, here we are today with the world literally at our fingertips. But this new-found technology has introduced a litany of problems.
We now have the ability to spy on our friends, families and/or strangers at any given minute of the day. We get to look into particular areas of people’s lives that we may once have not been privy too. Yet, I find that with this new-found “voyeurism” comes my love/hate/love relationship with social media. When I was growing up, if you wanted to meet someone or get to know them, you had to talk on the phone or in person. However, these days people get annoyed at times if you call them versus text (I’m guilty of that myself). Today we are more connected to the world than ever, yet many of us feel profoundly isolated when looking at social media.
I, like many others, start to compare my entire life to other people’s highlights. Knowing full well that it’s not a healthy thing, but it has become so a part of the norm that you can’t help but do it. This in turn fuels our insecurities and makes many of us feel less than or forces us to, in turn, present an unauthentic self on social media just to keep up. This can be especially rough once you hit your 40s. At this point, you’re supposed to have your act together. You’re expected to have made it, to some extent. It was hard enough when social media wasn’t around to essentially “prove your worth,” but now the pressure is 10x worse. I see others my age supposedly doing better. It then in turn diminishes my own light or makes me question my value and self-worth.
Here’s the key: This is no one’s fault but my own. A person or picture can’t make me feel a certain way unless I give them the power to do so. So when it comes to social media, I still enjoy it, but with a healthy dose of “I can’t be bothered.” I won’t try and compete with others’ “highlight reel” as I’ve talked about in earlier posts. I will continue to stay in this complicated relationship with social media, but I can only live my best possible life and do my best to use that to lift people up.