The world has moved from the stone, iron and bronze ages to the jet, digital or modern age. One of the central cores of the present age is the social media. A large number of people will find the link to this article on social media platforms. Social media is robust with real-time attention. Timelines are filled with reaction and raw responses. Opinions are wielded like swords. Political and popular figures are skewered with aplomb.
ICT has turned the world into a global village with the chief tool to achieve this being social media. One can access life transforming messages through social media platforms, distance barriers in relationships have been broken, and with just a click, one can access the current news, and world trend, amidst a few to mention. Everyone has to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in this evolution.
Social media is often referred to as the worst and best thing to have happened to this generation. It is a platform where billions think they are connecting with the world, but are disconnecting with reality and connecting with only illusions.
The allure of social media is the desire to be seen, omnisciently seen, if not always affirmed, at least always put in view of others. It promises to protect us from athazagoraphobia — the fear of being forgotten. So we impulsively connect, from the moment we wake up to the moment we must surrender ourselves to sleep.
It is a panopticon, a type of prison in which you never know who is watching. A panopticon is a type of goal that was proposed by philosopher Jeremy Bentham in which a single guard tower stood in the center of a prison in which guards in the tower can visually see every inmate in their cells causing the inmates to have a feeling of paranoia because they can not tell who is looking. Isn’t social media like this? One can update my status on Facebook and in seconds get notifications of likes and comments.
But not to be deceived that is not the number of people that have viewed the update. With one click, marriages have been shattered and visions destroyed.
The world is full of illusions. Magicians use myriads of things to trick people into believing the unbelievable and capture their attention. Today, a large percentage of people engaging in social media also perform this kind of magic. Life is full of illusions but social media has amplified this. Many put in their profiles who they are not, there are the tools we have to update our status, share pictures and perform magic that can make who we would like to be in the real sense. With everyday, social media is moving us from the real world into the magic world.
It is easy to get the impression that friends are more famous, powerful and knowledge than they really are these days. It is also easy to form the impression of the nice guy or lady than in real life. Everyone of us must be humbled enough to accept we have fallen for this magic before.
With the tools available people look more beautiful or handsome than they’re, locations can be changed, voices can be made more sonorous amidst others. Truly, with social media all that glitters is not gold.
Millions go to the extreme ends with social media today. Why? Because with social media racking up likes, comments, and follows has become a way to measure someone’s worth. A writer starts to measure the worth of his or her article with number of likes gotten.
And with everyday, we disconnect with people near us while fighting to connect with people far from us.
Next time you are posting something – ask the critical question – do I just want a reaction or something else?
The search for perfection embodies our social media and in that hunt we are deviating everyday from who we are to who we wish to be with a less appreciative manner in the society.
In the 1890s, physiologist Ivan Pavlov discovered that when he rang a bell to signal mealtime to dogs, they would begin to salivate whether he brought food or not. Many researches have been done in recent years to confirm his findings. Brain researchers have found that people have more brain activity anticipating a reward than receiving one. With this, whenever the ping of your phone rings it sets off a dopamine loop in your brain. Dopamine isn’t simply a pleasure chemical but a wanting chemical. With this, people send all kinds of pictures and messages hoping for responses.